About Geoduck

A unique seafood delicacy from B.C.’s cool, pristine waters.

 

Geoduck from Canada is a bivalve mollusk. The geoduck is the largest burrowing clam in the world! This species is a filter feeder, meaning they filter surrounding water to consume small particles of food such as phytoplankton. Scientists and connoisseurs alike credit the pure, clean coastal waters of B.C. with the consistently high-quality geoduck meat.  There’s a reason British Columbia is the leading supplier of premium geoduck! 

 

The annual Canadian geoduck harvest is 1,370 metric tonnes (3.03 million lbs). The largest market for Geoduck from Canada is China and Hong Kong, however, geoduck is actively being discovered by seafood lovers worldwide.

 

Geoduck biology

 

Geoduck from Canada, Panopea generosa, is a species of clam that can bury itself more than one metre deep in the ocean floor. It is the largest burrowing clam in the world and one of the longest lived species, often living over 100 years. The oldest geoduck recorded was found in Canada at 168 years old. Long-lived species like geoduck need to be managed very carefully. Less than 2% of the geoduck biomass in Canada is harvested each year. 

The age of the clams can be estimated by the growth rings or ‘annuli’ on the shell, similar to the rings of a tree trunk. It can grow to over 4 ½ kg (10 lbs), however, a commercially harvested geoduck is on average about 1 kg (2.2 lbs) in weight. The average shell length is 195 mm (7 ¾ inches). Geoduck from Canada is also known as “Elephant Trunk Clam” in Chinese for its long siphon and “King Clam” in North American markets for its large size and prestigious reputation.

Why do they all look different?

 

Canadian geoducks are formed by nature and grow in the wild. As a result, the overall size, colour and other conditions of their shell and siphon will vary according to their growing environment.

Examples include:

  • a geoduck shell could have imperfections if it has grown in a rocky substrate
  • a geoduck siphon or shell could feature a darker colour overall or some staining when it grows in different sediment types                                                                  

Factors that influence the size and appearance of a geoduck include:

  • substrate type (mixtures of sand, crushed shell, gravel, and mud)
  • depth of burial in the ocean floor
  • depth of the water
  • tides and currents
  • age
  • genetics
  • effects of predators
 

Lifecycle

 

Geoducks are broadcast spawners with separate sexes. When males spawn, the females will then release between 7 to 10 million eggs which are fertilized externally. Within 48 hours, shelled larvae begin swimming and weeks later they drop to the ocean floor. Juvenile geoducks start digging themselves into the ocean floor with a tiny foot that has developed on the bottom of their bodies.  

After reaching adulthood, geoducks lose the ability to dig and their shells remain sedentary deep in the sand with only their siphon extending to feed on microscopic creatures or retracting to protect themselves from predators.

Nutrition

Geoduck from Canada is as nutritious as it is delicious! Geoduck clam meat is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, especially B12 and iron. It’s also an excellent source of protein, with less fat and cholesterol than other meat or seafood choices. 

Nutrition breakdown: Per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of raw edible portion

  • Calories (cal) 80.0
  • Total Fat (g) 0.5
  • Saturated Fat (g) 0.2
  • Protein (g) 17.0
  • Cholesterol (mg) 30.0
  • Iron (mg) 44.0
  • Vitamin B12 (g) 9.1
  • Sodium (mg) 300.0
  • Calcium (mg) 78.0
 
 
 
 

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