A campaign to raise awareness about the significance of taklobo or giant clams was recently conducted on Green Island in Barangay Tumarbong, Roxas.

The activity, which was held on the last week of September, was organized by the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Board of Roxas in collaboration with the Aquous Foundation, barangay officials, and the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP-Roxas).

In a post October 6, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) said its District Management Division (DMD)–North participated in the information, education and communications (IEC) campaign, providing resource speakers to discuss important laws pertaining to the protection of giant clams (Tridacna gigas).

The event was moderated by Alex Marcaida of the Aquos Foundation, and it started with a welcome to the visitors and participants, as well as appreciation to the barangay authorities and the attendance of MPA Board chairperson Joemarie Argonzola and Rolando Enema.

”Kami po ay lubos nagpapasalamat at dahil kayo ngayon ay nandito upang ipaliwanag ang mga bagay tungkol sa Taklobo at kung bakit ito ay ipinagbabawal,” Green Island purok president Ric Setenta said in his welcome message.

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Marcaida described the purpose of the public awareness campaign, stressing that the objective is to educate and create awareness among people and fishermen about the current legislation that protects giant clams and their significance to the marine ecosystem.

Eduardo Cabrera, Jr. delivered a talk on Republic Act 9147 (Philippine Wildlife Act) and the ecological importance of giant clams. He highlighted that owing to their conservation status as a “endangered species” by PCSD Resolution No. 15-521, the collecting, selling, and trade of taklobo shells is banned. He also distributed posters for the “taklobo.”

On the other hand, Kathy Sabando of PRDP-Roxas presented a suggested project for the MPA in Barangay Tumarbong, with the goal of conserving and protecting the MPA and its marine resources.

The restocking of giant clam, especially Tridacna gigas species, is one of the project’s activities, which will be aided by the UP Marine Science Institute (UPMSI), notably in technical and legal procedures. As soon as the UPMSI is allowed to travel in the region, the implementation will commence.

The activity was wrapped up with a review of the talks and some reminders rounded up the program. The organizer thinks that raising awareness among local people and fishermen would deter them from participating in unlawful operations, the statement said.

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