On December 22, 2023, a team of divers from various government agencies and local units conducted a regular monitoring of juvenile giant clams in Bingag Marine Protected Area (MPA), Bingag, Dauis, Bohol.
The divers, composed of personnel from the Bohol Environment Management Office (BPEMO), the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dauis, inspected the giant clams that were transplanted in the MPA in 2019.
Giant clams, also known as taklobo, are among the largest and most endangered bivalves in the world. They play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance and health of coral reefs, as they filter water, provide food and shelter for other marine organisms, and produce calcium carbonate that helps build reef structures.
Monitoring giant clams in marine sanctuaries is critical for the conservation and sustainability of marine ecosystems. According to BPEMO, regular monitoring helps assess the population status and growth rate of the giant clams, as well as detect any signs of disease, predation, or poaching. The data gathered from the monitoring also contributes to the broader biodiversity conservation efforts in the province.
The divers reported that the giant clams in Bingag MPA are in good condition and have shown significant growth since they were transplanted. They also observed a rich diversity of fish and other marine life in the area, indicating a healthy and thriving reef ecosystem.
The monitoring activity is part of the ongoing collaboration between BPEMO, BPPO, PCG, LGU Dauis, and other stakeholders to protect and manage the marine resources in Bohol. The province has 261 MPAs covering a total area of 34,472 hectares, making it one of the leading provinces in the country in terms of marine conservation.
BPEMO said that they will continue to monitor the giant clams and other marine resources in the MPAs, and urged the public to support and cooperate with their efforts to preserve the natural heritage of Bohol.