A pile of Dungeness crabs

An undated photo of Dungeness crabs, freshly unpacked.

Brian Bull / KLCC

This season’s harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon has exceeded last year’s already, in just one month.

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Tim Novotny, a spokesman with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, says it was great to have this commercial crabbing season start on schedule for the first time since 2014, but the numbers as of Tuesday, Jan. 4, are also wonderful.

“We finished our first month of the season so far with 12.8 million pounds landed, so that surpassed last year. And our ex-vessel value has come in at $63.3 million. So that surpassed all of last year. So just an outstanding start to the year and we just hope we can keep that momentum through Aug. 14, which is when the season ends,” he said.

Novotny says challenges still exist with the worker shortage among processors up and down the Pacific Coast. But it’s hoped that the pandemic will lessen soon, and seafood restaurants and other clients will open up again, making this year more profitable than the previous two.

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