Giant clam shells are protected species

TNP, 1 Feb 2017, NUS students lambasted for taking giant clam shell
ST, 31 Jan 2017, NUS sailing trip draws flak after students return with giant clam shell

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Last month, 12 NUS students and alumni sailed to Indonesia’s Riau Islands for a week with Associate Professor Martin Henz, who teaches at NUS’ School of Computing and Faculty of Engineering.

They returned to Singapore with shells, including a giant clam shell, as keepsakes.

Environment groups and researchers pointed out that the giant clam is a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) and proper permits are needed before any animal parts can be imported across borders, including dead clam shells.

Giant clams play an important role in the building of coral reefs. Even after they die, their shells are deposited on the reefs, attracting marine life and enhancing biodiversity.Prof Henz, an avid sailor who has taken NUS students sailing in the region since 2013, said: “This has been a learning experience, and we will be more mindful of our actions in the future to neither leave anything behind nor remove anything from nature.”

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