131 giant clams ‘adopted’ in Pangasinan

BOLINAO, Pangasinan — A total of 131 giant clams have been adopted by 99 foster parents through ‘Adopt a Clam” project launched by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute- Bolinao Marine Laboratory (UPMSI-BML).

Ruby Esmolo, institutional research assistant of UPMSI-BML, said the launching on April 20 was just a dry run of the extension project, in which interested foster parents will have the chance to adopt their own baby giants in the future.

“We are overwhelmed by the response of the people to this project, so we are readying the guidelines for this,” she said in an interview Monday.
Esmolo said the project aims to raise awareness on the conservation of giant clams and the marine environment.

The donations by foster parents, ranging from PHP200 to PHP400 depending on the size of their adopted clam, will support the giant clam conservation efforts of UPMSI and also allow them to produce more baby giant clams for restocking throughout the country.

“We have restocked giant clams to 70 areas nationwide,” she said.

Esmolo said giant clams are beneficial to the marine environment as they serve as nursery to fishes and help maintain the balance of ecology in the reef, among others.

Based from the guidelines of UPMSI-BML, a baby giant clam upon adoption has been tagged with the name of its foster parent and placed in a special area in the Silaqui Ocean Nursery here.

Foster parents have also received an adoption kit with a certificate, as UPMSI-BML will care for the adopted clams and regularly track their growth to adulthood.

UPMSI-BML also conducts training workshop on how to care and grow giant clams as part of their efforts. Hilda Austria/PNA – northboundasia.com