7 tons of fossilized giant clams recovered in north Negros

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BACOLOD CITY — Some seven tons of fossilized giant clams (Tridacna gigas) worth about PHP28 million were recovered by authorities in Escalante City, Negros Occidental last Saturday.

A report from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office released on Monday afternoon showed these were found at the house of Jasper Bacaron in Hacienda Juliana in Barangay Washington around 5 p.m. on August 2.

The area was inspected by personnel of Escalante City Police Station headed by Lt. Col. Necerato Sabando Jr., Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Negros Occidental provincial director Marian Jill Abeto, and Escalante City Executive Assistant Rolen Cabus.

According to the police report, Bacaron confessed to Cabus that the owner or buyer, who is at-large, is a resident of Barangay Vito in the neighboring Sagay City.

Bacaron was not arrested because he voluntarily reported and turned over the giant clams to the police.

The recovered fossilized giant clams have been placed in the custody BFAR-Provincial Fishery Office in this city.

Tridacna gigas, locally also known as “manlot” or “taklobo”, is the largest living immobile bivalve mollusk in the world. It is identified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

In April this year, three residents of Sagay City were arrested and charged for hoarding about 1.5 tons of fossilized giant clams.

They allegedly have an anonymous buyer who offered to buy the clams for PHP1,000 per kilogram.

Section 102 of Republic Act 10654 or the amended Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 states that it shall be unlawful to fish or take, catch, gather, sell, purchase, possess, transport, export, forward or ship out aquatic species listed in Appendix I of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or those categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as threatened and determined by the department concerned as such. (PNA)

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