As demand for geoduck grows, lots of questions are being asked where the future of this industry is heading.
In terms of export sales, salmon farming dominates the B.C. aquaculture industry, constituting 89% of total aquaculture sales, according to the BC Salmon Farmers Association.
But B.C. shellfish growers say another aquaculture business, geoduck farming, could rival salmon farming in terms of value – and that B.C. is missing the boat.
In recent years, the demand for the giant clam – especially in China – has sent prices soaring. Geoduck (pronounced gooeyduck) has a landed value of about $10 to $11 per pound in North America and can sell for $30 per pound in China.
Geoduck has become so valuable, in fact, that illegal poaching is now raising concerns about the geoduck population in Washington state.
B.C. has a wild geoduck industry that is already worth about $47 million a year in sales – more valuable than oyster and clam farming ($33 million).
But it is exclusive to divers who hold licences for harvesting the giant clam in the wild.
Keep reading to find out more.