Tag Archives: Dungeness crab

Oregon men caught setting stolen crab traps await trial

“Don’t say another word,” he told his friend. “I’ll be right there. Don’t go anywhere and don’t tell anyone.” Two men caught setting stolen crab traps in Cape Falcon Marine Reserve of the north Oregon coast await trial following a joint effort of citizen reporting and solid detective work. Bob Browning has fished Oregon waters all his life. He started fishing off the Garibaldi dock with his family when he was five years old. When he saw a strange object bobbing on the ocean surface, he pointed it out to his client, Dr. Sarah Henkel. Browning steered “The Lady Lee” in for a closer look.,, Browning threaded the rope through his hydraulic lift and started the motor. When a crab pot broke the surface of the water, they knew there was trouble. The line continued. Another crab pot rose from the depths. They reached for their phones to report it. The Investigation,,, >click to read< 18:37

Southeast’s commercial Dungeness crab summer season the second highest on record

Commercial salmon fisheries in Southeast are looking to be a bust this year, but that’s not the case for Dungeness crab. This summer’s harvest ended up being the second highest on record. But the value of the fishery was not near a record breaker. Fishermen brought in 5.81 million pounds of crab in a commercial season that ran from mid-June to mid-August. Joe Stratman leads crab management in Southeast for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “What was taken this summer is more than double the previous ten year average,” he said. >click to read< 11:40

A family of crabbers – Tradition provides a through line for generations

With his orange gloved hands, my dad pops the shell off the crab, then twists the crab in half and pulls the guts off, and then puts the crab halves in the tote beside him. We’re processing Dungeness crab at Mickey’s Fishcamp. My dad tells me when his mother first came up to live in Wrangell, she worked as crab shaker at the local cannery. Crabbing and shaking run in our family. We bought these crabs from my son, Mitch Mork, who’s deck-handing for his dad this summer, along with my two grandsons, Owen, 9, and Chatham, 6. They’re working 225 pots around the Wrangell area. Mitch crabs partially for work but mostly to hang out with his dad. He’s also teaching my grandkids how to work hard and showing them that being an employee isn’t their only option in life. >click to read< 11:05

‘Okay, so what do we do?’ – New Markets Reshape Crab Industry

“China shutting down was when we first started to feel the impact of the (coronavirus) pandemic, then the closures of restaurants and stores hit us full blast,” says Novotny. “All of a sudden nothing was going out.” “But necessity is the mother of invention. Everyone from the crabbers to the processors to the mom-and-pop places started saying, ‘Okay, so what do we do?’ and you started to see Pacific Seafood start shipping crab all over the country.” Until the pandemic, flash-freezing techniques, which freeze crabs in a briny block of ice to maintain flavor and texture, was a niche market, used primarily for small orders. >click to read< 10:37

Southeast Alaska Dungeness crab catch starts strong again, price drops

It’s not as large as last year’s haul. But the catch from the first week of the fishery has topped 960,000 pounds and is expected to increase with additional landings from that first week still to be tallied. Effort is down substantially. Only 119 permit holders landed crab in that first week, compared to 170 in that first week last year. The recent average is 147 permit holders landing crab. The average price has also dropped from last year. It’s around $1.72 a pound compared to $2.97 a pound in 2019. >click to read< 13:17

Crab Command and Control – California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group

“Whales getting entangled in fishing gear is a huge crisis,” says John Mellor, a commercial fisherman and a member of the working group since its inception. “It has to be dealt with, and dealt with in real time.” Once or twice a month during Dungeness crab fishing season, which normally runs from November 15 to July 15, scientists in the working group conduct a series of mini research projects looking at four risk factors for entanglements: how many whales and sea turtles are around, where whales are likely to forage, the number and locations of recorded entanglements, and information about fishermen, including their landing data, license numbers, and the locations of their traps. >cxlick to read< 08:35

In Newport, a coronavirus outbreak spreads to local economy

Pacific Seafood ceased operations at all five of its Newport plants. The Oregon Health Authority said the outbreak is contained to Lincoln County and that risk to the public is low. But Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer said most of those who tested positive are locals. The town’s economy is hurting again without a major fish buyer and supplier. And businesses are shutting back down to try to slow the spread of the virus. “They live here, they work here, they’re community-based people,” Sawyer said. “And, of course, the problem with that is that people live and work with people that work in other industries.” >click to read< 12:16

Coronavirus: Restaurant Closures Put Oregon Seafood Industry In Limbo

Commercial fisherman Clint Funderburg should be on the ocean right now, catching Dungeness crab on his fishing boat, the Widgeon. When crab prices tanked a few weeks ago, he shifted gears to his off-season side gig. So, he’s building a refrigeration system for one of the many fishing boats that are stuck at the dock right now. Mandatory restaurant closures during the coronavirus pandemic have sent shock waves through Oregon’s $700 million seafood industry. The overwhelming majority of the seafood that lands on Oregon’s docks gets eaten in restaurants, and no one knows when that market will return. In the meantime, fishermen are parking their boats as seafood prices plummet. >click to read< 18:04

Mickey Sisk Jr. paints the outriggers on the F/V Swell Rider

Coronavirus undercuts Port of Astoria’s progress

Will Isom, the Port’s executive director, has focused on low-cost projects that benefit the agency and keep staff busy during a massive drop-off in business caused by the coronavirus.,, Bornstein and Da Yang seafood companies, which employ hundreds of people processing, freezing and shipping catch on Pier 2, have so far kept operating while checking workers’ temperatures, increasing sanitation and enacting more social distancing. “It is a constant concern and effort,” said Andrew Bornstein, co-owner of Bornstein Seafoods with his family. “We have installed partitions, spaced out lines, broken up lunch and dinner breaks to have less people in the lunchroom at a time.” Commercial Dungeness crab prices were already hurt by China’s travel restrictions and ban of live-animal imports during the coronavirus outbreak. >click to read< 09:31

Coronavirus: Yaquina Bay fishing continues despite market disruptions

As part of the food-production chain, commercial fishing is considered an essential industry, but even though fishermen based out of Newport’s Yaquina Bay are still on the job, they have felt the impact of the current market disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.,, “Some crabbers are still trying to stick it out, others have probably called it earlier than they normally would,” Buell added. “There still is some effort happening, for sure. It’s kind of hard to keep up with everything, but it sounds like the Chinese markets may be opening back up a little bit, so they’re able to start moving some live crab there, which is helping.” >click to read< 07:47

Crab season continues as whale entanglement risk remains low

From a California Department of Fish and Wildlife release: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is providing the following important update on the status of the commercial California Dungeness crab fishery which includes the Northern Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9) and Central Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 10 and south). more, >click to read< 09:42

Dungeness crab: Central California numbers rise to average of five times that of past decades

Fishermen from California to Washington caught almost all the available legal-size male Dungeness crab each year in the last few decades. However, the crab population has either remained stable or continued to increase, according to the first thorough population estimate of the West Coast Dungeness stocks. “The catches and abundance in Central California especially are increasing, which is pretty remarkable to see year after year,” The secret to the success of the Dungeness crab fishery may be the way fishing regulations protect the crab populations’ reproductive potential.  >click to read< 14:34

California: Fewer Whales Entangled As Crab Fishermen Face Financial Struggle

Crab fishers are frustrated by recent closures, and CDFW is working with stakeholders and fishermen to come up with an economic plan that can help fishers deal with the changing industry. “We are seeing that the closures affect smaller operators disproportionately,”,,, Dick Ogg is a commercial fisherman out of Bodega Bay, California. His single-boat company is considered a medium-sized operation in the area because he catches many species. In addition to crabbing, Ogg shifts with the seasons to fish salmon, black cod, and albacore as well. This allows him to have income throughout the year. He humbly calls himself a “newbie”, having only been a commercial fisherman for 21 years. >click to read< 07:05

First month of Dungeness crabbing disappointing

Crabbing season is off to a slow start in Crescent City and Brookings, Ore. “We’ve had a lot of bad weather, not too many days out fishing,”,, Fishermen were anxious to begin crab fishing when the season opened on Dec. 31, after being delayed twice due to the crab quality. So far, the season has been disappointing, yielding a low overall poundage of crabs, according to Crescent City Harbor Commissioner Rick Shepherd and Burkman.  It is not the worst year Crescent City and Brookings has seen, but it’s certainly not the best. >click to read< 11:55

2019 was highest value year on record for Dungeness crab in Southeast Alaska

5.3 million pounds of Dungeness crab were harvested, which is the third highest harvest on record. Yet, the price averaged $3.07 a pound making it the highest valued season ever recorded for Southeast. The previous record for the most valuable year was in 2002. Seven million pounds were harvested but the price was only $1.25 per pound back then.  >click to read<   18:54

Crabbing commences: Rich fishery attracts out-of-area boats

“Just the excitement of it. There’s no quotas, may the best man win,” said F/V Nordic Fox captain Cub Jansen, 29, when asked about the appeal of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. “It’s one of the last things you can do where hard work can really reward you.” Jansen, with crew Dru Rowe, Larry Bell, Cub Jansen, Mitch Clark and Raj Clark, was among several commercial skippers crabbing out of the Port of Ilwaco for the first time. 21 Photos.  >click to read< 17:45

Dungeness crab delivered to Sonoma County ahead of New Year’s Eve

“I won’t say it’s poor,” said Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg, before offering a laugh. “I’ll say it’s less than good. It’s not exactly what we had expected. Our original anticipation was that there were a fair quantity of crabs in the area. Unfortunately, that is not the case.” The prediction of a mountain of Dungeness crab lying in wait at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean prompted a number of fishing boats from outside the area to descend this month on Bodega Bay. Photos, >click to read< 06:42

Oregon: Crab season getting underway

Commercial Dungeness crab is Oregon’s most valuable fishery, and the economic benefit attributed to that fishery for just our area alone is huge. According to ODFW’s website, Dungeness crabs have been landed commercially on the West Coast of the United States since 1848, when San Francisco fishermen began the fishery. And, since the fishery was established, Oregon has consistently been one of the largest producers of Dungeness crab overall.  >click to read< 08:46

Water Under the Bridge: Dec. 24, 2019 – 10 years ago this week, 2009 in Oregon

Derrick Ray has survived two divorces and 23 grueling winters crabbing in the Bering Sea. He steered boats through 40-foot breakers and stayed up for five days straight — watching imaginary pink elephants fall from the sky — while his boat pulled in a half-million-dollar haul of king crab.Thirty-five years of commercial fishing has taken a toll,,, and other stories, >click to read< 06:36

A California dilemma: Save the whales or eat the crabs?

I had always assumed Californians loved whales, and that measures to save the gigantic, federally protected creatures would be universally applauded. I was wrong. “There are so many whales out there! When we stopped shooting them with exploding harpoon tips, the whale population started to increase,” Collins said. “The gray whales are at historical levels!” Singling out the commercial crab fleet feels extremely unfair to Collins. After all, he said, ship strikes kill more whales than crab lines. “But we are the only ones paying for that!” >click to read< 06:56

Commercial crab season opening delayed until at least Dec. 31

With Dungeness crab in some management areas including Long Beach and Astoria still lacking enough meat, fishery managers on Dec. 6 decided to delay opening the commercial season until at least Dec. 31 from Point Arena, California to the U.S.-Canada border. > click to read<, Commercial Crab Season Delayed Again>click to read<Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed again along Oregon coast>click to read< 18:49

Dungeness crab fishing season delayed due to whale and sea turtle entanglement risk

Charlton Bonham, director of the Fish and Wildlife department, issued a decision to postpone the start date for California Dungeness crab fishermen south of the Mendocino/Sonoma County line for one week — from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22. The decision was based on data indicating the prevalence of whales in the area. Bonham’s decision to minimize entanglement risk follows a court-approved agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, a Phoenix-based environmental nonprofit that in 2017 sued the wildlife agency,,, >click to read< 16:52

Morro Bay: Local fishermen, businesses impacted by delay of Dungeness crab fishing season

It’s a season that has already been cut by two-and-a-half months and for some fishermen, it’s becoming harder to keep their businesses afloat. “Could you go home and take a week off with no pay? Or two weeks, or three months like we’re forced to? Not very many people can,” said Lori French. French and her husband own a fishing boat in Morro Bay. Their main catch is Dungeness crab. >click to read< 07:51

Dungeness commercial crab season likely to be delayed over risks to whales

California’s state fish and wildlife chief is poised to delay this fall’s commercial Dungeness crab season for eight days under a legal settlement,,,  Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg said he appreciated the unenviable spot Bonham is in and the pressure he is under to avoid taking chances with an endangered species while positioned directly in the lens of a microscope. “You know, he tried to make the best possible decision he could make and still give the fishermen the opportunity to take advantage of the Thanksgiving market,” Ogg said. “It was tough.” >click to read<  14:50

Dungeness crab ‘meating up’ at slowest rate in years; also slow to harden

Dungeness crab in Long Beach Peninsula waters have the lowest percentage of meat in at least five years of late-October testing. More than 85% of local crab also are too soft to harvest. This is bad news for the traditional Dec. 1 opening date, which has often proved illusory in the past two decades.,, All areas must be at least 23% before a commercial crabbing season can commence under terms of the Tri-State protocol that governs crabbing in the waters of Washington, Oregon and California. In another potential problem for a timely season start, Washington coast crab are especially slow to harden this autumn. >click to read< 11:47

Opinion: Reducing whale entanglements

Oregon’s commercial crabbing industry prides itself on sustainability. Though Dungeness crab has been harvested commercially since the late 1800s, this population is considered to be stable to increasing along the West Coast—thanks to commercial and recreational regulations that protect the breeding population and ensure the state’s official crustacean will be conserved for future generations. Now, the fishing industry is facing a new environmental challenge—whale entanglements in crabbing gear. by Dr. Caren Braby, >click to read< 11:40

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

The effects of the marine heatwave off the California coast from 2014 to 2016, better known as The Blob, that led to a decrease in Chinook salmon and virtually shut down the Dungeness crab industry are finally starting to wear off.,,, “It wasn’t about (a lack of) abundance,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “It was about destabilized ecosystems.” >click to read< 10:50

Crab fishermen cashing in during windfall harvest in Northern B.C.

Crab fishermen in Northern British Columbia are pinching themselves to make sure they aren’t dreaming this season. Dungeness crab in the Hecate Strait, a shallow body of water between Haida Gwaii and the mainland, are bountiful this year and ship crews are crabbing around the clock to cash in. For many working on the water, it is the most rewarding harvest in recent memory. Paul Edwards, captain of the Sea Harvest, has been fishing for Dungeness since the 1990s and says it is the best haul he has seen in 25 years. Awesome!!! >click to read< 19:47

Dungeness fleet back off Oregon Coast

Crabbing restrictions were lifted Friday along the South Coast after biotoxin levels in Dungeness were found to be safe again, reinviting the region’s commercial fleet to take full advantage of what is now the second-best Oregon crabbing season on record. Oregon Department of Agriculture tests Friday showed domoic acid levels in Dungeness were back into the safe margins for the second consecutive week, allowing sport crabbers back to the ocean and bays that have been off-limits since May 10. >click to read<19:53

2018 Dungeness crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska best in years

The commercial fishery for Dungeness crab in Southeast Alaska was cut short in 2017 because harvests were low. 2018, however, has proven to be one of the best years in the last decade. It takes a while to compile all the data from Southeast’s Dungeness crab fishery. The fall fishery closed November 30 for the most part but a few areas remain open and data is still coming in.But the major areas were fished for two months and preliminary results are pretty positive. >click to read<21:33