Some 80 tons of “taklobo” or giant clams were seized by authorities on an island off Roxas town in Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard said.
The PCG noted 324 pieces of giant clamshells—a hoard worth around 160 million pesos in the black market—were recovered in a raid on several homes conducted by the coast guard, Philippine Marines and local environment officials in Barangay VI, Johnson Island.
Adding that those found collecting the mollusks may spend up to three years in jail and pay a fine of 3 million pesos, the PCG said, “Harvesting endangered giant clams … is prohibited under [the law].”
The island’s village chief will be charged with poaching for supervising the illegal collection, said Jovic Fabello, spokesperson for the provincial government’s conservation council. He added this has been their “biggest haul so far.”
It likely took the locals six months to a year to amass the 80-ton pile, a coast guard spokesperson said.