The Bohol Provincial Environment Management Office (BPEMO) conducted a regular monitoring of the giant clams restocking project in the Sta. Fe Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Alburquerque on December 23, 2023.
The monitoring team, composed of divers from the BPEMO’s Coastal Resource Management (CRM) Division, the Philippine National Police-Bohol Provincial Police Office (PNP-BPPO), and the local government unit (LGU) of Alburquerque, checked the condition and growth of the 100 juvenile giant clams that were seeded in the MPA last October 19, 2022.
The giant clams, which have an average width of 30 centimeters, are part of the provincial government’s initiative to protect and conserve the marine resources, enhance the marine biodiversity, and provide an alternative source of income for the fisherfolks in Bohol.
According to BPEMO, the giant clams restocking project aims to restore the population of the endangered species in the province, which has been threatened by overharvesting, habitat degradation, and climate change.
The giant clams, also known as taklobo, are considered as the largest living bivalves in the world. They can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and weigh up to 250 kilograms. They play an important role in the marine ecosystem, as they filter the water, provide shelter and food for other organisms, and contribute to the formation of coral reefs.
BPEMO said the giant clams restocking project is also a potential ecotourism attraction, as it can draw visitors who are interested in seeing and learning about the marine life in Bohol. The project also provides livelihood opportunities for the local communities, who can benefit from the fees collected from the tourists and the sale of giant clam products, such as shells and pearls.
The BPEMO added that the giant clams restocking project is one of the many efforts of the provincial government to promote sustainable development and environmental protection in Bohol. The province has been recognized as a model for coastal resource management in the country, with its network of MPAs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and artificial reefs.