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B.C. geoduck ban lifted by Hong Kong

Hong Kong has lifted an import ban on giant clams from B.C. — callled geoducks — that Canadian shellfish harvesters said was crippling their industry.

Ban put in place last December after paralytic shellfish poisoning found in B.C. clams

Geoduck harvesters, seen in a promotional image, want more help from the federal government to reopen trade with Hong Kong. (Underwater Harvesters Association)

Hong Kong has lifted an import ban on giant clams from B.C. — known as geoducks — that Canadian shellfish harvesters said was crippling their industry.

The ban was put in place on December 24, 2014 after paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP toxin, was found in a batch of live clams from the B.C. Central Coast that were shipped to Hong Kong.

On Tuesday Hong Kong announced the ban has been lifted.

"In view of Canada's submission of an investigation report and the implementation of enhanced surveillance programmes and actions, [we] decided to lift the import ban," wrote the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety in a release.

Geoducks, also known as horse clams or elephant clams, are burrowing clams that can reach two metres in length, making them the largest saltwater clams in the world.

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