Taytay, Palawan—The very first hatchery-bred giant clams of the String-of-Pearls project were released into the wild yesterday at a strict protection zone at the outer Malampaya Sound national park in Taytay, Palawan.

The clams (Tridacna squamosa species) were spawned at the hatchery in August 2018 and restocked in cages in August 2019.  String-of-Pearls involves breeding and restocking of heavily-exploited (endangered and locally-extinct) marine shells species such as abalone, topshell and native giant clams.

The inclusion of giant clam species in late 2016 was initiated and spearheaded by late National Scientist Dr. Edgardo Gomez, also a former trustee of Malampaya Foundation.  In 2017, Dr. Gomez confirmed the presence of locally-extinct Philippines’ true native Tridacna gigas giant clam in the waters of Honda Bay in Palawan and was included in the roster of giant clam species for restocking.

Spawned clams spend about one year at the hatchery and another year at the ocean nursery in cages prior to release into the reef system.