“Market Approved” Product
The UHA is very concerned that buyers be able to ensure the safety and quality of geoducks and horse clams by only purchasing “Market Approved” product. The purchase and marketing of “illegal” geoducks and horse clams is unfair to legitimate harvesters, a potential health risk to the consumer, and a serious breach of Federal and Provincial laws. By working together, we can ensure that only “Market Approved” product enters the market and serious problems can be averted.
Immediately after harvest and until delivery to a federally registered shellfish establishment, all commercial geoducks and horse clams must be packed in “cages” with a maximum weight (while empty) of 5 lbs. per cage. The cages and cage dividers must be clean and fabricated from approved material. All cages used for “Market Approved” wild product harvested by members of the UHA are packed in cages provided by the UHA (orange cages are used in the south coast areas while green cages are used in the north). The UHA cages and cage dividers are fabricated from Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved material.
At the point of landing, the weight of all geoducks and horse clams is validated by independent observers funded by the UHA. All commercially harvested geoducks must be recorded in DFO approved Geoduck and Horse Clam Validation and Harvest Logbooks. A copy of the appropriate entry in the log book must accompany the product to the federally registered shellfish establishment.
All commercially harvested geoducks and horse clams must go through a federally registered shellfish establishment prior to distribution or sale. Until commercially caught geoduck are delivered to a registered shellfish establishment, each of the approved cages must be tagged.
The waterproof tags must include the following information written with water resistant ink:
- name of vessel;
- licence tab number;
- vessel registration number (CFV#);
- harvest date;
- area, sub-area and geoduck management area;
- location of catch, and;
- common name of the product ie. “geoduck clam” or “horse clam”.
All shellfish products leaving a registered shellfish establishment must be labeled with the following information:
- common name of the product ie. live geoduck clams;
- net weight;
- name of processor;
- harvest date;
- harvest location.
If the product is sold to a distributor, the distributor may replace the processor’s label with his own, but the label must contain the same information as the processor’s label. In this situation, instead of processor name, the label would say “distributed by” and have the distributor’s name. Both processors and distributors must keep records of the product origin.
All of this information can be used to trace the product back from the consumer to the exact time and location of harvest and can be checked against commercial fishing validations to determine whether the product was legally caught and is Market Approved.
Live geoducks are commonly packed in styrofoam crates with moist food grade paper dividers and cool packs to ensure product quality and freshness. Once delivered to retail or restaurants, live geoduck can be returned to clean salt water for display and sale.
Anyone with information with respect to illegal activities is encouraged to call the toll-free DFO violation reporting line at: