Farming of giant 'gooeyduck' clams gets B.C. approval

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 January 2007, at 12:00am

BRITISH COLUMBIA - The B.C. government has issued its first commercial licences for geoduck clam farms around Savary and Hernando islands in the Straight of Georgia just across from Campbell River.

But New Democrat Gregor Robertson said Thursday the government should reconsider the licences. He's a member of the government's special committee on sustainable aquaculture.

Geoducks are the largest burrowing clams in the world, weighing in at an average of half a kilogram to one kilogram at maturity, with some specimens weighing 7.5 kg and reaching as much as two metres in length. They have a life expectancy of more than 140 years.

The name for the clams comes from a Nisqualli First Nation word meaning "dig deep" and is pronounced "gooeyduck."

Concerns that farming may harm wild population
About 95 per cent of the market for geoduck clams is in China, which up to now has mostly been supplied by the digging of wild clams.

In licensing the farms, Robertson said the government has made an uninformed decision.