Geoduck – Hard to Say, but Big Business!

Here in the Pacific Northwest a clam called a geoduck – pronounced “gooey duck” – is the butt of many lewd comments because of its unusual shape. Actually, it’s just a case of outgrowing that way-too-small shell! Geoducks are the largest burrowing clam in the world, and Washington shellfish growers have only been raising them since 1991. And now nearly 800,000 pounds of them seem to be missing.

Clamming Up in Washington

Forget high tech, forget “Big Ag;” there are still hunter/gatherers at work on Washington’s Pacific coast. Pacific razor clams (Liliqua patula) grow wild on ocean beaches; they can’t be commercially grown in Puget Sound like oysters and other clams including geoducks. They are harvested with a bucket and a shovel, by hand.