Geoduck

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Panopea generosa

ALSO KNOWN AS King clam, Elephant clam, Goiduck

Geoduck is a high-value seafood product. The meat in the siphon, or neck, is used for sashimi and is somewhat tough and crunchy, while the belly meat (from the main body of the geoduck) is tender and has a sweeter taste. In the world of shellfish, the geoduck is an unusual creature. Geoducks are characterized by their small shells and very long siphon. They cannot pull the siphon into the shell for protection, but they can withdraw it beneath the seafloor when neccessary.

In the first 3 to 5 years, Geoducks grow to 1.5 pounds, with a slower rate after that. It can take a geoduck almost 15 years to reach maximum size, which is around 7 pounds.

They are found along the northwest coast of North America in subtidal areas to waters 300 feet deep. They are commonly found in Puget Sound, British Columbia, and Alaska, preferring mud-sand to sandy substrates where they burrow themselves up to three feet deep.

Geoducks are harvested one at a time by divers off of the ocean floor. At farms, the harvester uses pressurized water from a hose to liquefy the surrounding sediment so they can reach down and easily pull up the geoduck. Geoducks are packed very quickly after harvest and usually shipped live to customers worldwide.