Geoduck divers are highly skilled divers who work from dive vessels in the remote pristine waters along the coast of British Columbia. They usually harvest in the “winter” months and get paid by the weight of their harvests. A prized product, the Geoduck diver can potentially make very good money. It’s hard work mind. Using surface supplied equipment, the divers take a water jet (stinger) with them. Divers work at a depth of 10 – 20 metres moving along the ocean floor looking for a geoduck show (the tip of a siphon or a dimple in the sand made by the tip of a siphon). Kind of looks like nostrils. When a diver finds a show, he uses the stinger to move the sand around the clam, enabling the diver to reach down into the sea floor (sometimes 3 or 4 feet) and pull out the clam and place it in a bag that is clipped to the diver’s waist. When the bag is full, the diver signals the crew to hoist the bag up to the deck of the vessel.
Once onboard, the geoducks are gently emptied from the bag onto a cushioned sorting table where the clams are banded to prevent the shell from gaping and help keep the clam alive. They are then placed into cages with liners that separate each layer of product to avoid marking and prevent breakage during transport. The cages are labeled following strict guidelines and kept clean and cool, ready for validation and distribution.
In Canada geoducks are harvested by members of the UHA (Underwater Harvesters Association) www.geoduck.org
If you are interested in seafood harvesting and geoduck in particular, call or email us for more info!