- Philippine authorities seized 324 pieces of giant clam shells weighing a combined 80 tons in the province of Palawan on March 3.
- The seizure brings to more than 150 tons the amount of giant clam shells confiscated from traffickers in the past six months in Palawan, the only place in the Philippines where the remaining original wild species was found.
- Giant clam shells, virtually extinct in the Philippines just a few decades ago and brought back through repopulation efforts, are heavily poached as a replacement for ivory, with China as the biggest export market.
- With little data on the poaching of giant clams, it’s hard to say if the trend is driven by the pandemic-triggered lockdown, experts say, but the increase in seizures shows enforcement measures are paying off, they add.
READ MORE: Surge in seizures of giant clam shells has Philippine conservationists wary (mongabay.com)