(Photo from the Coast Guard District Palawan)

Some 300 pieces of giant clam shells, or taklobo, were recovered by Philippine Coast Guard operatives and personnel of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development on an undisclosed private property in Coron on Thursday, April 18.

The fossilized clams were hidden and covered with dried banana and coconut leaves and weighed around 5,000 kilograms, according to authorities. They also believed that the stockpile, discovered in Purok 4, Sitio Payatpat, Barangay Buenavista, was acquired through diving and fishing activities, while some were bought from local fishermen for P50 each.

The operation to retrieve the priced shells was conducted by the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGD Pal) under Coast Guard Intelligence Group Palawan (CGIG-PAL), Coast Guard Station Coron (CGS-Coron), together with personnel of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff District Management Division-Calamian and the PNP Maritime Group.

PCSDS DMD Calamian has taken custody of 1,000 kg of the shells, which will be used for filing legal proceedings and appropriate charges for violations of Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, while the remaining shells were turned over to the barangay for proper disposition and custody.