Puerto Princesa, Palawan — A trial spawning of giant clam species Tridacna squamosa and Hippopus hippopus commenced on 11th of August 2018 at the Western Philippines University (WPU) hatchery located in Binduyan, Puerto Princesa facilitated by trained giant clam breeding technical staff of WPU and the Palawan State University under the supervision of experts from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (U.P. MSI).

Tridacna squamosa is considered a vulnerable species, mostly overfished in Philippine reefs while Hippopus hippopus is among the few candidate threatened (CT) species with sparse occurrence, and considered a Key Biodiversity Area indicator species. The trial spawning is an evaluative step to prepare the WPU and PSU staff for the in situ spawning of Palawan genome Tridacna gigas specimen in Honda Bay. Collectively, over 10 million T. squamosa and H. hippopus larvae was produced. It is assumed that only 0.01% will survive as part of the natural selection process. The surviving clam juveniles will be transferred in the ocean nursery after the 90day period and will be ready for restocking by 1st quarter of 2019.

If successful, the clam species will be released in marine protected areas in northern Palawan as part of MFI’s String of Pearls project, to repopulate protected reef areas with giant clams species that help regenerate marine ecosystems.