Wrangell Sentinel -

Alaska Fish Factor

AK shellfish farmers and divers may not be 'open for business' much longer they must pick up tab for federally required lab tests per Gov. Dunleavy's budget

 

March 12, 2020

Photo Credit: www. oceana.org

The geoduck (pronounced "gooey duck") is a large clam native to the west coast of North America. Unlike the giant clam, which is almost all shell, the geoduck has a small shell compared to the soft part of its body, which it cannot retract into the shell. The shell rarely grows larger than about 8 inches (20 cm), but the soft body can be over 3.3 feet (~1 m) long. Geoducks burrow deep into soft, muddy or sandy sediments, and this long "neck" is actually the siphon that the clam uses to bring clean seawater down to the deeply buried shell. They are the largest of all burrowing clams.

Alaska shellfish farmers and divers fear they won't be 'open for business' much longer if they're forced to pick up the tab for federally required lab tests as outlined in Governor Dunleavy's budget.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed shifting the state cost to the harvesters which last year totaled almost a half million dollars. 

Geoduck clam divers in Southeast Alaska, for example, pay about $150,000 each year to collect samples that are sent to the single federally approved laboratory in Anchorage and tested for paralytic shellfish poison and other toxins. D...



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