The Geoduck Clams, are also known as chiluda, or king clams; and their scientific name is Panopea generosa. This is a sort of clam , recognized as a marine bivalve mollusk; which is part of the family of Hiatellidae.
The geoduck is characterized, by its peculiar large size. Its name became popular, thanks to the word of indigenous origin which refers to « dig deep”.
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Main Characteristics Of Geoduck Clams
These clams are characterized by having shells, which measures vary between 15 centimeters and up to the 20 centimeters in length. Moreover, their long siphons allow them to reach up to a meter of total length .
On the other hand, regarding the siphon; it can be said that it is soft organ, that is part of the body of these mollusks.
Through this organ flows the water, that this creature needs to fulfill its main functions, like locomotion, feeding, breathing and even reproduction. Then there is no doubt that it is a vital organ for geoducks clams.
Now, it is very important to know, that the length of this clam stands out among other species; since it is considered one of the largest.
In terms of weight, it is estimated that geoducks clams can weigh, between 700 grams or up to 800 grams. Although there have been cases of these creatures that weigh up to two kilograms.
First of all it´s good to know, that these delicious clams are very appreciated in the market, so that big amounts are often paid for them. This trade increased in the 1970’s, when the demand of geoducks clams grew especially in the Asian continent. Therefore, from this date the cultivation of these clams grew vertiginously by means of the direct fishing in the sea, getting also a bigpresence on farms. The geoduck clams make up an industry of 80 million dollars per year; where countries such as USA and Canada are positioned as the main producers.
The trade of the geoducks has gone on , due the large economic remuneration involved in this activity. However, the furtive capture of these specimens has also grown in a hidden way, due to the negative effects that can be generated in the environment and the ecosystem of this animal.
The big siphon of these clams, is the main reason of their high cost. However, due to the lack of knowledge about the good quality of the geoducks´s meat; their cultivation in many countries of Latin America is not enough developed.
On the other hand, there is information regarding catches carried out through the diving, in countries like United States.
Once the clam is captured, it is destined to the elaboration of different dishes, where the meat of the siphon is used in its majority. For this reason, and according to the references; the geoducks clams are almost totally taken advantage , between 70% and up to 90% of them, since even their shells can be used as decoration for the dish.
On the other hand, it is also good to know, that the importance of the geoducks clams not only lies; in the large amount of meat they provide. They also contain high amounts of nutrients, which are favorable for people; as well as in the case of the Carril´s Clam . Among the studies that have been carried out, it is considered that a serving of 750 grams of geoduck clams only contains 250 milligrams of cholesterol.
Habitat and Distribution
The information about the habitat of the geoducks clams is based on the fact, that they live mainly in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; where they are usually found more easily. Now, on a more specific scale, they can be found in the Province of Santa Cruz. Another considerable group of geoducks clams have been found, in the San José Gulf, in Argentina; and in other cases they have also been found infrequently, in the San Matías gulf and in the Nuevo gulfs, also in Argentina.
Now, in terms of the ideal habitat of the geoducks clams , it can be said that these animals develop mainly on the seabed, so the sand is the surface where they develop. In the same way, they are usually found about 75 meters deep.
finally, we invite you to enjoy this illustrative video about the geoduck