Around 200 tons of giant clams with an estimated value of about P1.2 billion were seized last week by authorities in Green Island in Roxas, Palawan.
Four persons who allegedly harvested the giant clams, locally known as taklobo, were arrested by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel.
The PCG said this haul is the biggest so far in the province, in the never-ending battle with poachers and unscrupulous traders.
Local environmentalists said the giant clams, which fetch up to P2,000 per kilogram, are highly coveted in other countries as a substitute for elephant ivory which is now banned internationally.
They are much sought after in China, Japan, Thailand, etc. for jewelry, decorations and cosmetics products.
The suspected poachers – identified as Rodolfo Rabesa, Rey Cuyos, Julius Molejoa and Erwin Miagao – will be charged with violation of the Philippine Fisheries Code and Wildlife Resources Convervation & Protection Act.
Photo: South China Morning Post