Around a thousand kilos of empty shells of giant clams, locally known as “Taklobo”, were seized by law enforcement authorities, yesterday, in Brgy. Casian, Taytay, Palawan.
After receiving reports from an informant, the PCSD Enforcement Team, PNP Taytay, and MAO of LGU Taytay went in a joint operation, around 10 a.m., to confiscate the giant clams and arrest the four locals who were allegedly involved in illegal trade.
The PCSD Staff is now filing charges against Carlo Valdez Cutanda, Carlito Paduga, Eduardo Oplas, and Erwin Durana for violation of R.A. 9147 or “Wildlife Act”, which prohibits “collecting, hunting, or possessing wildlife, their by-products, and derivatives.”
Reports say that giant clams are being sold for P600 to P1000 per kilo.
The collected giant clams were identified as Tridacna deresa, Tridacna maxima, Tridacna gigas, and Tridacna squamosa, all classified as protected species 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.
Following the operations, the PCSD Staff is appealing to the public to report immediately to authorities persons possessing or collecting giant clams.