The People's Republic of China requires inorganic arsenic testing for geoduck clam imports from the United States. Shellfish growing areas and geoduck harvest tracts are tested annually for inorganic arsenic. Areas that have inorganic arsenic levels below China's allowable limit are cleared for export to China.
Areas Cleared for Geoduck Export
Areas Cleared for Geoduck Export to China from Washington State, NOAA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a list of areas that are cleared for export to China.
For the areas cleared, NOAA and the Department of Health will issue export certificates for geoduck to China. It's important to note that there are no other restrictions on any molluscan shellfish exports.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Oversees the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and is responsible for regulations to ensure molluscan shellfish are safe for human consumption. FDA audits all state shellfish control authorities (state shellfish programs) to ensure compliance with the Model Ordinance.
- National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Oversees the National Seafood Inspection Program. Issues certificates for export as do many state shellfish control authorities. They are to seafood what USDA is to beef and poultry.
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW): Our enforcement partner. We conduct civil shellfish enforcement, Fish and Wildlife does criminal enforcement. WDFW conducts emphasis patrols to prevent shellfish poaching and other illegal activity.
- Department of Natural Resources (DNR): DNR owns state lands where much of the geoduck exist and manage their numbers. They award leases to licensed commercial shellfish companies allowing a controlled amount of geoduck to be harvested from these areas. These leases are awarded through auction bid. Shellfish companies participating in the bid process must be currently licensed and in compliance with state and federal regulations.