Hong Kong’s ban on British Columbia’s export of the geoduck clam, aka the “horse penis clam”, aka the world’s weirdest-looking shellfish ever, has left the the Canadian province’s industry hanging just like the anatomical feature with which this sea creature shares its name.
The geoduck clam provides a 50 million CAD annual export industry for BC, and Hong Kong had previously imported more than 70 percent of its 1.45 million kg per year harvest.
Hong Kong banned all geoduck imports from BC last December, however, when Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin was detected in a sample of clams from its harvest.
As expected, the ban has taken a heavy, heavy toll on the industry. British Columbia’s harvest is down around 180,000kg compared to this time last year, according to SCMP, citing Underwater Harvesters Association president James Austin.
Austin said the ban was imposed across all of the province despite the toxin having only been found in a single harvest area, which had already halted exporting the clams.
The ban has also had an impact on the harvesters whose livelihoods depend on the clam and its grossly long, fleshy body.
“Forty boats up north have just had to have five days off because they haven’t had the ability to sell,” Austin said in the report. “We’ve got workers in Vancouver, at five or six different plants that are slowed down right now, we’ve got trucking companies that are now only trucking 25 per cent of the product that we normally ship…it just escalates,” he said.
Canadian authorities are now trying to persuade Hong Kong’s Center for Food and Safety to lift the ban so that the dick-like delicacy can be served in hot pot dishes across Hong Kong once more.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of horse penis in China for individuals keen on getting their fix of the real thing.