Dungeness crab being gathered for market.

Dungeness crab being gathered for market.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Three-and-a-half weeks into Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab season, crab boats are finally heading out to sea.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

Haggling over the opening price was the sticking point between processors and fishermen.  An agreement on $2.75 per pound was announced Friday night.

Taunette Dixon of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives group said she can’t recall the last time negotiations went on this long.  But she’s hopeful the season goes well.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

“For the fisherman who are risking their lives, that are out there sacrificing their time, their energy, their health, their safety…to bring seafood to the world,” Dixon said.

Lori Steele, executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, said the COVID-19 pandemic really hit the industry starting in March 2020.

“We lost our restaurant market overnight.  And that was about 70% — or more in some cases — of where our markets were.”

Dixon added that some boats will head out Saturday morning, though many are planning to hold out until Jan. 14 when the weather is expected to be more favorable.

Dungeness Crab is Oregon’s biggest commercial fishing commodity, with  10,000 tons of the crustaceans harvested last year, valued at $72 million.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

Related Stories

Only male Dungeness crabs can be harvested commercially, and only when they reach a size of 6 1/4" width.

Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

The Dec. 1 commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 16 for the entire Oregon Coast because testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield.