What are gooseneck barnacles?

goose barnacles

Why do we have to do this to birds? Wait, gooseneck barnacles aren’t exactly what you may be thinking, it’s not as bad as foie gras, thank goodness. Gooseneck barnacles are actually crustaceans that live attached to the hard surfaces of rocks and lots of them in the ocean.

goose barnacles

Why gooseneck barnacles are dangerous?

It’s a dangerous job to get them from the rocks, but some people are willing to do it and this is why it’s not the cheapest seafood that you’re going to even find but possibly on of the best depending on whom you talk to. Some people risk their life as they jump from their tiny boat to the rocks where the gooseneck barnacles are located.

The rocks are only accessible during a low tide (which is usually few hours a day during daylight) and they host the gooseneck barnacles just on the edge. In Spain on average five people die each year trying to harvest gooseneck barnacles due to unpredictable weather and waves.

To add to the risks the most prized barnacles thrive in the most dangerous spots on the island. These spots are more dense and more packed with meat, and they grow on the edge of the rocks, where the waves are constantly thrashing against them.

How do you cook gooseneck barnacles?

While they aren’t the easiest thing to get they can be something that os very easy to cook, in fact most recommend that you use water and salt to make them tasty, which is simple enough right? Others claim that they tase a bit like lobster or clams and clearly there’s a demand for it as Portugal likes both getting them and eating them and again it’s not actually something from geese and that’s something that makes me happy.

Are gooseneck barnacles expensive?

A kilo of gooseneck barnacles can cost you up to 100 dollars. That is because the majority of gooseneck barnacles in a site are not ready to be harvested. Take Vancouver for example, at each site only 10% of gooseneck barnacles will be considered marketable as there are specific size standards to preserve mass harvest and ecological disaster.

Another factor that makes the gooseneck barnacles so expensive is that they must be eaten fresh and their shelf-life is notably reduct. You can eat them after freezing them but their quality decrease drastically. The decrees are graded on a A,B and C scale based on how much meat thy hold, the size and freshness.

Protecting gooseneck barnacles

The gooseneck barnacles host a rich wild life in them, from little crabs to other small marine life. Harvesters must be very careful then harvesting not to harm the guests nor cutting the gooseneck barnacles shaft. Moreover, each fishermen has an 7.5% (of the marketable “mature” gooseneck barnacles for a rock) harvesting limit in each site then that rock will be closed for 6 months to prevent overharvesting.

Gooseneck Barnacles

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