Officials say Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed until at least Dec. 16. Preseason testing has shown the crustaceans are too low on meat yield in some areas.
The commercial season is targeted to open on Dec. 1, but can be delayed because of low meat yield or presence of biotoxins.
Last year, the season was delayed and opened in stages.
Commercial fishermen landed over 31.5 million pounds of crab at an ex-vessel value of $85 million. Ex-vessel value, according to NOAA, is “a measure of the dollar value of commercial landings, usually calculated as the price per pound at first purchase of the commercial landings multiplied by the total pounds landed.”
Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates.
California and Washington are also delaying their commercial seasons until at least Dec. 16.
The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks. Results help determine if the season opens Dec. 16 or is further delayed or split into areas with different opening dates.
The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.
Weekly season opening updates are posted online until the decision to open the season is made.