About the Species
U.S. farmed geoducks are a smart seafood choice because they are sustainably grown and harvested under U.S. state and federal regulations.
- Geoducks are characterized by a small shell and very long siphon.
- The long “neck” has two openings at the end – one for taking in oxygen and phytoplankton and one for releasing excess water.
- Geoducks are long-lived; the oldest ever recorded was 168 years old.
- Geoducks burrow into the sediment about 1 foot per year to a depth of 3 feet.
- In the first 3-5 years, geoducks grow to 1.5 pounds, though they make not reach maximum size, about 7 pounds, for 15 years.
- Females release 1 and 2 million eggs per spawn.
- Permitting for shellfish aquaculture is governed by federal, state and local governments.
- The federal agencies involved are the NOAA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Coast Guard.
- Shellfish farms must adhere to federal regulations including those in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.
- Information on shellfish aquaculture permitting can be found in the Shellfish Growers Guide.
- A variety of shellfish aquaculture tools, including maps and models, are available to coastal managers.