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Local Conservation Status and Economic Value of Mangrove Clam (Pegophysema philippiana) in Sitio Maitom, Barangay Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental

This paper investigates the local conservation status and economic value of Pegophysema philippiana in Maitom, focusing on its population abundance, size distribution, and threats to survival. This study collected and analyzed 377 specimens. The results revealed a population density of 4 ind/m2. Furthermore, the collected specimens displayed smaller average length and weight and lacked larger-sized individuals. The study identified two significant threats to P. philippiana:wastewater from adjacent prawn ponds and destructive gleaning practices. Conservation efforts, such as site alternation and selective return of premature individuals, were found to be inadequate in addressing the decline in abundance. Additionally, variations in physicochemical properties observed in this study and previous studies require further investigation. Regarding the economic value of P. philippiana, local pricing ranges from Php 120.00/kg-Php 180.00/kg, with a prevailing standard price of Php 150/kg. However, the pricing needs formal procedures and assessments. The P. philippiana fishery in Maitom operates at an artisanal level and requires essential gear or equipment, including proper harvesting techniques. Consequently, support activities beyond selling and consumption should be present. To address these challenges, this paper recommends establishing a formal business firm to streamline the flow of P. philippiana. Improving the fishery enhances the economic value, and conservation efforts can also be promoted, creating a positive feedback loop benefiting stakeholders and the species.


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