July 19, 2019

Officials Seizing Illegal Geoducks in Washington

State and federal wildlife officials at the Sea-Tac airport in Washington state are seizing thousands of pounds of illegal geoduck shipments.

Geoduck (pronounced ‘gooey-duck’) is a giant species of saltwater clam. Its neck can be up to three feet long. The clams burrow three to four feet under the sand and have a lifespan of up to 100 years.

Officials are finding improperly or illegally filled out forms for transporting this clam. Without harvest tag information, there’s no guarantee that the clams were legally or safely harvested. Anyone who harvests geoducks for sale must document the catch for traceback purposes.

Poaching geoducks can be big business and is pushing the clam close to extinction. If the clam is harvested from an area near sewage plants, it is unsafe to eat. Officials say that some large companies are exporting the clams without the proper documentation.

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