Believe it or not, as part of a nation’s natural resources, clams and coral reefs are important. The latter are important habitat for fish and marine biodiversity, while the latter make for some kickass chowder.
While not everyone values it as much as they should, these 8 countries at least know better than to ever take these things for granted…
New Zealand is the primary exporter of clams all over the world, recognizing that this bivalve is not just tasty, but hearty as well. It’s not “just” food: it’s part and parcel of New Zealand’s culture.
On top of that, they share the Great Barrier Reef with Australia, which means that they really have it in their best interests to keep one of the most beautiful places under the sea alive and well.
Malaysia is a diver’s paradise, and owes a lot of that fame to their coral reefs. Multiple foundations in Malaysia alone have been established to protect the country’s beautiful marine life.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is, like the Philippines, a part of the coral triangle, an area with unparalleled marine biodiversity. Given their underdeveloped lifestyle, the country takes great care in preserving its natural resources despite the march of civilization.
Japan is the leading importer of clams, so yes, they do care about clams a great deal. And with only 1.4% of Okinawa’s coral reef considered healthy as of last year, they are also very much concerned about their corals, as well. Pretty sure they won’t just let another country run roughshod over it.
Like the Philippines, Indonesia takes pride in its beaches. This is why recent efforts towards protecting their coral reefs have been undertaken by the country. It’s not easy, but they are making a lot of progress on this front, because otherwise, Indonesia’s tourism industry, which it depends on immensely, would be adversely impacted.
Australia is best known for the Great Barrier Reef. With all the talk about conservation efforts, this amazing landmark is perhaps one of the most watched and documented out there. Let’s just say that Australia is very wary of seeing the Great Barrier Reef get any worse than it already is, because a lot of their lifestyle depends on it.
The Belize Coral Reef is no longer endangered. Fighting back tourist pollution and other hurdles, Belize quickly (heh) turned things around for their corals by pulling them from the brink of total annihilation. It does the heart good knowing that a country is willing to fight for its corals, not for anything else, but because it’s theirs.
Shockingly, the Philippines loves its corals, too. When a US Navy ship hit our corals completely by accident, we sent them the bill to the tune of $1.5M, and made sure to remind them to never do it again.
In fact, our country cares about clams so much, our very own DFA Chief had to backpedal just the other day and adapt a strong stance against China for poaching our clams. Like he should.
So yes, the next time someone tells you that we shouldn’t go to war over clams and corals, sure. Let’s not. But that doesn’t mean we have to do nothing about it. Somewhere, Regine Velasquez must be feeling very vindicated right now.
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