Critical Reefs Destroyed in Poachers’ Quest for World’s Biggest Clams

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PUERTO PRINCESA, PHILIPPINESBiologist Ed Gomez was in his office at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute about 25 years ago when the phone rang. The woman on the line told him she worked as a broker and had a client who wanted to buy some of the young giant clams his team was culturing.

“She said, ‘I have a buyer who will purchase your clams,’” Gomez recalls. “I asked her, ‘Are these for local sale or intended for export?’” Both, she said.

“That’s when I told her, ‘I’m sorry to tell you the Bureau of Fisheries will not allow the export of giant clams.’” Months before, Gomez and his team had applied for—and been denied—export permits for giant clams. His original plan had been to figure out how to breed the clams in captivity, so Filipino fishermen could supplement their income by growing them themselves and selling them abroad.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/wildlife-giant-clam-poaching-south-china-sea-destruction/

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