1.5 tons of threatened giant clams seized in Sagay
BACOLOD CITY — About 1.5 tons of giant clams or “Manlot” were seized in a police operation in Barangay Molocaboc in Sagay City at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday.
Arrested for violation of the act preventing the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing were Felix Causapin, 60; Lito Cañete, 49; and Adan Atabelo, 54.
The police said 127 pieces of fossilized Manlot or Tridacna gigas, the largest shell in the Philippines, were confiscated from the three men reported to be hoarding the clams.
The operation was led by officials from the Philippine National Police-Sagay City, Protected Area Management Board-Sagay Marine Reserve, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Task Force Lawod of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Jose Roberto Togle, the Resource Assessment Head of Sagay Marine Reserve, said his office received a report from a concerned citizen of Molocaboc that the arrested men were hoarding the clams since February.
Togle said they were verifying the reports as Sagay Marine Reserve Superintendent Mayo Antonio Cueva gave orders to further investigate the report of the concerned citizen.
Judge Joanna Frances Nifras of the Municipal Trial Court of Cadiz City issued a search warrant on April 3.
He added that the arrested fisherfolk were contracting with an anonymous buyer who offered them to buy these clams at P1,000 per kilo.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature identified Tridacna gigas or Manlot as vulnerable species, which is considered facing extinction in the wild.
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