Personnel of the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) recovered Tuesday some 3,000 kilos of empty giant “taklobo” shells that were reportedly abandoned by unidentified illegal traders along the shores of Barangay Capayas, Dumaran town.
CGDP commander Capt. Allan Corpuz said Wednesday to Palawan News said they were 57 empty shells of giant “taklobo” with an estimated value of P2 million.
They were recovered by personnel manning the CGDP outpost in Dumaran around 11 a.m. following tip-offs from concerned residents.
“Merong na-recover ang mga tropa na giant clam sells sa vicinity ng shoreline ng Capayas. May concerned citizen na nag-inform sa Coast Guard sa Dumaran na merong abandoned giant clam shells. Then immediately together with barangay officials, pinuntahan ito ng mga tropa natin. Nakita agad nila ‘yong clam shells na abandonado at natatakpan ng coconut leaves,” Corpuz said.
He said they are now under the temporary custody of the local government of Dumaran.
Corpuz said a follow up operation is now being conducted by their personnel to identify the owner of the giant clam shells.
On February 6, joint environment and law enforcement authorities also seized more than a thousand kilos of empty giant “taklobo” shells from four local illegal traders in Barangay Casian, Taytay.
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) spokesperson Jovic Fabello said some species of giant clams are classified as “protected” under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
Giant clams help maintain the health of coral reefs by providing food and shelter for reef fishes and filtering the waters. However, its population is now rapidly declining, Fabello said.