Time is money in all types of commercial fishing, but that's particularly true in the geoduck fishery. One reason is the huge market demand in China for the big bivalves. The other is how the Tulalip Tribes manage their divers, restricting harvest to just a few hours at a time as part of a strategy to keep the fishery sustainable. Twenty years ago, the commercial geoduck industry was something people at Tulalip had just begun to explore. Now, it's a $2 million-a-year business for the tribes, who annually pull about 175,000 pounds of the giant clams out of muddy seabeds around Snohomish and Island counties. Last season, 90 percent of wild geoducks harvested in Washington were sent to Asia in what amounted to a $74 million export industry for the state. With prices hinging on the clams' health, packagers race to SeaTac with their freshly caught product. If all goes well, geoducks plucked by a Tulalip diver in the morning can be stowed in the cargo section of a passenger plane leaving the airport on a regularly scheduled flight to Asia around 10 p.m. As little as 24 hours later, they will already have been retanked, ready to be sold live in one of Hong Kong's many bustling seafood markets. “They're number one,” Madrigal said. On a top day, a diver can haul in thousands of pounds of wild geoducks, which usually sell at the dock for $7 to $15 a pound. If the market is really booming, that price could exceed $20 a pound. With top clams weighing in about 2.5 pounds, divers talk about how the fishery is sometimes like picking up $20 bills from the seafloor. On that day in May, the Rawdeal was one of 11 boats commercially harvesting geoduck on a stretch known as a “tract.” The divers had two hours to work and not a minute more, closely monitored by a tribal fisheries patrol boat.