Shellfish company owner thinks 'outright' bans won't happen again



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Posted on May 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 28 at 5:41 PM

NEAR OLYMPIA, Wash. - Geoducks from the Puget Sound should be headed back to China soon, according to one of the state's top Shellfish exporters.

China ended its five-month ban on Northwest shellfish last week.

Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Shellfish Farms, hopes bans like it won't happen again.

"We're thrilled to have this reopened," said Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Shellfish Farms.

Taylor said the family-owned business that dates back to 1890 lost "millions" during the ban and had to layoff employees.

Last December China enacted the ban on the import of all shellfish farmed between Northern California and Alaska after geoducks found in Poverty Bay, near Federal Way, tested positive for what were considered unsafe levels of arsenic.

"It had a significant effect on cash flow," said Taylor whose company had nothing to do with the geoducks harvested near Federal Way.

Taylor said the federal government is working with China to limit future bans to the specific areas or companies responsible for potentially unsafe shellfish.

"The way it's put in place now, we won't have an outright ban on all geoduck again," said Taylor.