Taytay, Palawan — Re-stocking of native giant clams species started yesterday at a core management zone of the outer Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape (MSPLS), in hopes of reviving and increasing abundance of the over-extracted clam species in the area.

The Tridacna squamosa individuals were spawned in August 2018 at Malampaya Foundation Inc.’s (MFI’s) partner Western Philippines University’s (WPU) hatchery in Barangay Binduyan, Puerto Princesa, which was upgraded by MFI in two phases starting 2013 to improve facilities and capacity.

Included in the re-stocking were over 1,000 individuals of Haliotis asinina abalone, likewise bred at the hatchery as part of MFI’s agreement with WPU.

Giant clams play various ecological roles in coral reef ecosystems by contributing to marine food chain as their tissues, gametes, and excreta serve as food for predators, scavengers, and opportunistic feeders. Their shells serve as substrate for other organisms like corals, sponges and algae and they help control eutrophication by filtering the sea water.

Healthy populations of giant clams contribute significant quantities of calcium carbonate material into the reef structure. The presence of giant clams in reefs also serve as outstanding indicators of fishing pressure and water quality. Abalone, on the other hand, keeps reefs clean through its ability to feed on algae growing on corals, thus preventing smothering.