UST College of Science Dean Prof. Rey Donne S. Papa, Ph.D., who is one of the lead researchers of UST’s National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP)-funded Taal Post-Eruption Ecological Research (PEER) Program, shared the current findings of their research group during the “Science and Policy Forum for Sustainable Sardinella tawilis Production and Livelihood in Lake Taal”. The event, held from September 27-28, 2022, via Zoom, was organized by the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) together with the Protected Areas Management Board of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (PAMO-TVPL) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).
Papa, who is also the chairperson of the Research Council of the TVPL, talked about the status of research knowledge on Lake Taal pre and post-eruption. From there, Papa shared the current research efforts being done by the Taal PEER research team to better understand the ecology and biodiversity of Lake Taal, with a focus on the feeding ecology of the endangered and endemic Sardinella tawilis after Taal volcano’s recent eruption in 2020, which included an analysis of the trophic dynamics of Lake Taal’s pelagic zones and a pre- and post-eruption comparison of the prey preferences of the fish.
The limnologist also highlighted the importance of studying feeding ecology to any efforts looking into the potential recovery of its status as an endangered species, and talked about other initiatives studying the ecology of Lake Taal’s littoral zone after the volcanic eruption.
Lastly, he highlighted the need for further collaboration between academe, national government agencies (NGAs), non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), private organizations, people’s organizations, and fisherfolk to restore the entire watershed to hinder any further decline in its biodiversity and to have continuous monitoring, assessment, and conservation efforts in the lake.
The NRCP Taal PEER program is expected to end on March 31, 2023. The lecture remains available for public viewing through the NFRDI Facebook page