There are 2 species of geoduck fished commercially in northwest Mexico: Panopea generosa, along the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula, and Panopea Globosa, in the Gulf of California and in Bahía Magdalena. This study describes the status of the geoduck clam fishery in northwestern Mexico. Recent surveys suggest an ample distribution of beds along both coasts of Baja California and the coast of Sonora. Landings have increased from 49 mt in 2002 to 2,000 mt in 2011. The fishery has a current annual value of approximately US$30 million, and in Sonora, stock assessments estimate the potential yield to be around 1,800 mt. Fishers in Sonora have expressed an increasing interest to enter into the geoduck fishery, and a total of 1,173,898 pieces have been authorized for new extraction in 2012. We have conducted surveys in 24 beds from February 2009 to October 2011 to evaluate the resource. Given the long life cycles of geoduck, low recruitment and high fishing rates threaten the viability of this resource unless immediate management actions are taken.
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Vol. 31 • No. 3