Crackdown Could Help End Giant Clam Poaching in Critical Reefs
New regulations in southern China aim to protect coral reefs by putting an end to the thriving trade in giant clam carvings and other handicrafts.
Earlier this year, National Geographic reported on the environmental destruction taking place in the South China Sea while politicians and diplomats argue over which country controls the region. The fishery, one of the largest in the world, is on the brink of collapse, and hundreds of acres of coral reef, some of the most biodiverse in the world, have been buried under artificial islands or dug up in the quest for giant clams.
Giant clam poaching is the main cause of reef destruction in the South China Sea. Some 40 square miles of coral reefs, or about 10 percent, have been killed by Chinese fishermen seeking the giant bivalves. A booming trade in Tanmen, a