Santa Cruz crabbers face a slow start to the season

ar-161209876-jpgmaxh400maxw667Three weeks into commercial crab season, Santa Cruz harbor fishermen are having a tough time finding crabs. “The season in Santa Cruz has been pretty slow,” said Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish, a wholesale and retail fish seller at the harbor. “There’s crabs coming in, but not nearly in the numbers we would like or that we’d seen in the past few years.” The harbor has 15 to 20 active commercial crab boats that fish for the wildly popular Dungeness crab along with the less famous rock and spider crab, according to the Santa Cruz harbormaster. Three weeks into the season last year, each boat was bringing in an average of 800 to 1,000 pounds of crab a day, but this year that number has plummeted to about 100 to 200 pounds a day. “We don’t really know what’s going on,” Haveman said, who buys crabs from nine boats. Read the story here 11:13