I remember reading in a magazine a few years back that perhaps the most important fact about geoducks (pronounce gooey ducks) is: size matters. I believe that back in more genteel days the rather obvious tumescence of geoducks was concealed from female eyes to protect them from the shock – or perhaps to stop them from comparison shopping.
It seems geoducks are quite a long way from being ‘domesticated’ in the same way that salmon or mussels are, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife report husbandry including laboratory spawning is progressing.
North American geoducks are found in harvestable quantities only in Puget Sound and inland waters of British Columbia and southeast Alaska. The Washington Department of Natural Resources estimates there are 682 million pounds of geoducks in state waters.
What is the present market value? According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, geoducks were worth up to $US24 each. To fetch top dollar, clams must be defect-free, with long white necks weighing between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds apiece. They also have to be delivered live.