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Wed Dec 18, 2013, 09:59 AM

Northwest shellfish industry dismayed at China's partial ban


Northwest shellfish industry dismayed at China's partial ban
The Seattle Times
December 16, 2013

SEATTLE -- Washington state geoduck harvesters and government officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, are scrambling to overturn China's decision to ban some shellfish exports from the Pacific Northwest.

The ban has brought the geoduck industry here to a virtual halt.

Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other "double-shell aquatic animals," such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks.


The ban is a particularly nettlesome problem in Washington because China accounts for about 90 percent of geoduck exports from the state. And fisheries in the state harvest and farm 5.5 million to 7 million pounds of geoduck annually, according to Taylor Shellfish Farms, one of the state's largest geoduck providers. Those companies generally sell geoduck, which is a burrowing clam, for between $7 and $25 a pound.

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