China Bans US West Coast Shell Fish Imports-Thousands of Divers Laid Off


Geoducks from the Puget sound area packed for export

In a move that is having a devastating impact on the Pacific Northwest, China has banned shell-fish imports from the U.S West Coast. This ban will have an enormous impact on several states including  Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California. The ban clams, oysters and all other two-shelled bivalves such as geoducks.

The shellfish industry contributes  $270 million to the economy in the Northwest. China is the leading buyer of shellfish.

China’s ban came  they detected contamination in a shipment of geoduck was found to have a high level of arsenic by its own inspectors. The Seattle Times reports,

Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other “double-shell aquatic animals,” such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks.

The geoduck industry, primarily based in Puget Sound exported $68 million of geoduck in 2012. Almost 90% of those sales were to the Chinese.  Geoduck are a traditional food at Chinese New Year, and retail at $100-$150 per pound. Those who farm geoduck will be hardest hit by the Chinese ban. The Suquamish tribe sends all of their production to China. They are particularly hard hit by the ban.

The move comes at a time when shell-fish markets in Asia are being particularly hard hit. Shortages of shrimp, crab, and other shell-fish are being experienced in most of Asia. According to the Sun-Herald,


“A new strain of a common bacterium has been wiping out populations in southeast Asia since 2009, where most of the world’s shrimp is raised on farms, according to a United Nations press release in May.  It started in China, then spread to Vietnam and now Thailand, the world’s largest shrimp exporter.Quantities of shrimp from Thailand have dropped 37 percent from last year, according to numbers by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Called Early Mortality Syndrome, the disease can take out an entire pond in a few days, but is not harmful to humans.”

For Louisiana, this has been a market boom. Hopefully shortages in the Asian region will encourage the Chinese and American governments to work out the issues related to the Pacific Northwest. It is likely that Chinese consumers are just as anxious as American fishermen and divers to resolve the matter.

  • Brian Thompson

    They ban us, lets ban there junk product!!!!

  • jorskippy

    Radiation poisoning maybe…. from the continued leaking nuclear reactors in Japan.

  • jorskippy

    They do make crappy products…. Why cannot Americans produce these goods. The quality would be much better. Americans need JOBS.

  • Thomas J. Butman

    REALLY? SERIOUSLY? THEY Are the most INDUSTRIAL country in the entire world. EVERYTHING coming from CHINA should be scrutinized thoroughly!

  • Peggie Geiger

    Well that’s really bad news when you consider that thanks to Obama we are in major debt with China too.

  • Guest

    Because we are greedy and want to get paid $25 an hour to produce these goods. The Chinese workers will produce these goods for $25 a day!

  • Sam Ramirez

    but we don’t ban them when they send us mold infested dog food or lead poisoned toys for kids. Logical

  • Danny Cahalin

    actually it is the privately owned federal reserve and their weapon of mass destruction known as a federal reserve note that has us in debt and it started long before homey the clown became the latest puppet.

  • Danny Cahalin

    arsenic skippy

  • Danny Cahalin

    that would be their junk

  • Dominic Delia

    Aren’t all you liberals so happy that Obammy just signed an agreement to let Japan import Chicken into the USA? Dumbasses!

  • R.Cole

    You know what it is Sam. It’s the sorry “TREASONIST” parasites roosting in Washington that don’t have the stones to put a stop to it, much less balance the trade imbalance. China is sitting on 1 trillion in U.S. Bonds. If they decide to cash it in. The dollar crashes. What we should be doing is rounding up the assholes that approved selling U.S. bond to the communist and try them for “TREASON” because that is what it is.

  • Scojoe

    they have cheap labor…..we do not…

  • Mitch Davis

    The shell fish were probably eating cheap Chinese toys that were dumped in the ocean because they were full of arsenic

  • Mitch Davis

    $25 a day? As of 1 May 2013, the highest monthly minimum wage was in Shanghai (1,620 yuan), closely followed by Shenzhen (1,600 yuan). The lowest minimum wage was in the central province of Anhui (1,010 yuan). a yuan is $0.16 1620 x 0.16 is 259.20 .. divide that by 20 days (4 weeks at 8 hours a day) and it comes out to $12.96 a day

  • scott

    because the people making crap items will demand 15 dollars per hr