Thursday, April 17, 2008


I have a strange fascination with Geoducks. Perhaps it’s because they’re just so odd-looking, or because I’d never heard of them before moving up here, or because they are so much fun to say (Gooey-duck! Gooey-duck! Who doesn’t love that?) or because Mike Rowe did a segment on them in Dirty Jobs, but I just think they’re interesting. And it seems I’m not the only one – when a few of us first went to our local pub’s trivia night, we all agreed that Geoducks was a great name for our team. It was entertaining listening to the Irish announcer mispronounce the word until some irate Pacific Northwesterners in the front area corrected him.

Anyway, I was interested to hear yesterday morning on KUOW’s local news about a current conflict between local Geoduck farmers and people living in the South Sound. Apparently the South Sound neighborhood group is up in arms over the extensive Geoduck farming that’s going on, claiming that it creates silt that goes into their yards, creates trash that goes into the Sound (nets and plastic pipes) and disrupts the shoreline environment. I’m a little confused about how the land-use rights work, and whether the homeowners actually “own” pieces of the beach, and what parts are used by the farmers, but I can certainly see the concern. On the flip side, some biologists said that Geoducks and shellfish in general were good for the marine environment, although they specified that there are “not many scientific publications about Geoduck farming,” if you can imagine.

With almost no information on which to base my decision, I’m going to say I support the Geoducks. If nothing else, more scientific research must clearly be done. So support your scientists in supporting the Geoducks, and I think our world will be a better, and more-informed place.

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