As Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) and Western Philippines University (WPU) were unable to conduct in-situ spawning for the Philippines’ true native Tridacna gigas the whole year due to the Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions, the partners managed to spawn on December 18, 2020 over 132 million from three (3) remaining giant clams at Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
In eight (8) to 12 months, less than 1% (survival rate) will be deployed to reefs in core zones of effectively-managed marine protected areas (MPAs)or marine management zones in north Palawan such as Malampaya Sound in Taytay, within and outside El Nido national park, and select MPAs in the municipalities of Linapacan and Coron.
The activity is part of the String-of-Pearls project under MFI’s marine biodiversity conservation program’s Ecological Rehabilitation component which involves restocking of threatened and endangered marine shell species in its MPA sites with proper management and protection.
The project started in 2013 with the upgrading in two phases of the WPU hatchery in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and production of two native shell species of abalone and trochus.
In 2017, three (3) giant clam species were included in the production under the guidance of late National Scientist Dr. Edgardo Gomez, a former MFI trustee, who likewise confirmed in mid-2017 the existence of the Philippines’ true native Tridacna gigas giant clam species at Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, once declared extinct in the 1980’s by himself. From 2019 to 2020, several north Palawan sites have been initially re-stocked with Tridacna squamosa, Hippopus hippopus and the native Tridacna gigas giant clam species, together with abalone shells.