The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has seized 324 pieces of giant clam shells in Palawan on Wednesday, reportedly the “biggest haul of its kind” in the island province.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the PCG said the seizure was made at Barangay VI, Johnson Island, Roxas in Palawan, with the giant clams weighing a total of 80 tons with an approximate market value of PHP160 million pesos.
It said harvesting these endangered giant clams, locally knows as “taklobo,” is prohibited under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 or Republic Act No. 10654.
“Violators shall be penalized with an administrative fine of up to PHP3 million and suffer imprisonment of up to eight years,” the PCG said.
In a Viber message, the PCG said there were no suspects yet based on the initial investigation of the PCG unit in Palawan.
It noted that the haul was most likely gathered along the Eastern part of Palawan—from El Nido to the municipal waters of Roxas, Palawan—for about six months to one year.
The giant clams, it said, are used for decorations, creating luxury goods such as chandeliers, buttons, and may also be pulverized and used in traditional medicine.
During the operation, the PCG, joined by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, Marine Battalion Landing Team 3, and Bantay Dagat Roxas, also discovered 124 pieces of illegally cut mangrove trees and were confiscated for violating the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines. PNA.GOV.PH