Oh, the geoduck, snorkeling in the muck with its long, um, snout. A state icon of sorts. The official mascot of The Evergreen State College. (College fight song: "Go, Geoduck, Go!" Really.)
This week, government and company officials from Mexico's Baja Peninsula arrived in Olympia to discuss the mighty shellfish. Mexico, according to the Washington Department of Natural Resources, is interested in establishing a commercial geoduck fishery there.
Although the clams are most abundant off the coasts of Washington, Alaska and British Columbia, DNR says, their habitat extends as far as Mexico's Baja California Sur.
"We're happy to share what we've learned," said DNR Commissioner Doug Sutherland.
Despite the creatures' silly look, the business of geoducks is dead serious. Washington State earns about $8 million a year from the harvest of the valuable shellfish. The state has come up with techniques to tally the geoducks, figure out what a sustainable level of harvest is, and to deter geoduck poaching.