NW Marine Life

Digging The Mighty Geoduck: A History Of Puget Sound’s ‘boss Clam’

A Brief But Relevant History

A geoduck harvest is popularly known for the waves it has made in the commerce industry. And well, some would say, its culinary satisfaction. However, be sure to know its popularity more specifically stems from the high demand it attracts from the Asian Markets.

In theory, it has been harvested by the residents of Puget Sound’s for hundreds of thousands of years. Geoduck provides nourishment in several pounds. And yes! They remain the biggest clams in the world. This is the reason the word ‘boss clam’ is not so far-fetched.

Its shells disintegrate so fast. This explains why you cannot find its traces in archaeological records – pointing at the doubt in whether the earliest men had a taste of it. The names have been spelt differently over time though, from gwiduck to “goeduck” to “gooeyduck” and then, “gweduck” which etymologically means to “dig deep”. This points at just one thing, the boss clams were probably widely eaten. And not just that, but also well known.

One of the earliest appearances of the word geoduck is on February 23, 1883 in New York Times. There, an anonymous writer made a description of them with the phrase; “prince of clams”. People have visited Puget Sound solely for the commercial chances geoducks stand in the Eastern markets. And this as predictable has led to lustful interests in it.

Due to the perceived over harvesting of these clams, a three duck per day rule was made and enforced in 1925. And to this day, that rule applies. A ban placed on the harvest of such delicacy cannot of course last for so long. This explains why in May 1970, fifty live clams were pulled up by Robert Sheats, a Navy diver alongside his wife, Magaret. Perhaps everyone wants to have a taste of what it is like being the boss. Even if it is by eating the boss.

After the pace has been set, other companies joined in the harvest race. Of indelible recognition is Washington King Clam. We cannot thank them enough for how intense their attempt at chasing geoducks to extinction was. However, they failed.

The reasons are pretty wide and cannot simply be narrowed down into one thing or two in particular. But for sure, one of the reasons has to be that Geoduck might be found as deep as 300 feet in water sometimes. A red flag to some.

Geoducks have not just been a sensation to the chefs that have great interest in the nourishment levels of their food. Although the support for geoduck aquaculture is not so global – commercially, the interest people of taste have in it never waned. It has gone way farther into world commerce.

To illustrate this, the image is just nearby. Glance to your side to see the just concluded Washington’s geoduck auction. In February 2019, the event featured American and Chinese big companies as bidders. If that’s not just about a history maker. Please, be nice to share what is. Especially, one that comes from the thickly wet land with delicacy.

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