Tag Archives: Dungeness crab

Crab fishermen and environmentalists square off over whale entanglements

The issue has pitted two local interest groups against each other: Those who depend on the $68 million California Dungeness crab fishery for their livelihood, and those who advocate shutting down areas to crabbing to protect humpback whales and other endangered species. Caught in between are everyday shoppers who love having Dungeness crab on their tables, but probably wouldn’t want marine mammals hurt in the process. “I’m frankly very scared of what the upcoming season could mean for whales,” said Kristen Monsell, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, an Oakland environmental group that sued the state over the issue last year. The case is due to go before a judge in February. >click to read<13:23

New regulations for commercial Dungeness crab fishery now in effect

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife enacted new regulations to reduce the risk of marine life entanglements in commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. These regulations became effective on Oct. 30, 2018, and will be in place for the upcoming 2018-19 commercial Dungeness crab season. The new regulations allow no more than two trailer buoys to be used at the surface and establish a maximum distance between the front end of the main buoy to the tail end of the last trailer buoy depending on the depth that a trap is deployed. >click to read<11:34

Fishermen head out on opening day of 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season

After several frustrating years of on-again-off-again crab catching operations along the California coast, fisherman were optimistic about hauling in a good catch as the 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season opened Thursday. It was three years ago that the highly anticipated season had to be delayed until March after state fishery officials detected toxic levels of domoic acid in crabs. In addition, fishermen have had to contend with scattered delays and lousy weather. >click to read<

Counting down to Thanksgiving crab? It won’t be long now

This year, state regulators are opening the main fishery on time but only as far north as Bodega Head while they await a second round of test results from sample crabs taken off the mouth of the Russian River, where a single shellfish collected late last month had elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring neurotoxin. The six-crab sample taken a week later tested well within federal limits for the algae-related substance. A second consecutive round of tests is needed before the area can be declared clean and the rest of the Sonoma Coast opened to commercial crabbing. >click to read<13:01

California Dungeness crab season faces delays in parts of state

The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 1 in the waters north of Bodega Head State Marine Reserve to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line because of elevated levels of domoic acid, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. The commercial fishery south of this area will open as scheduled Thursday, however. >click to read<10:51

Southeast dive fisheries, crab seasons start in October

The season for geoduck clam diving starts Oct. 1. The first opening could be Oct. 3 or 4, depending on testing for the toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The region’s guideline harvest level is 702,100 pounds. The large clams are plucked from the ocean floor and shipped whole and live to overseas markets, if the clams don’t test too high for PSP or inorganic arsenic. There are a couple of changes for that fishery this year. Past openings have been only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., one day a week. The Board of Fisheries last winter approved a 1,000-pound weekly harvest limit. >click to read<12:48

Crabbers to get federal disaster relief

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has proposed a spending plan for federal Dungeness Crab disaster relief funding after taking input from fishermen, processors and charter boat operators. The state’s 2015 to 2016 commercial Dungeness and rock crab seasons were declared as fisheries disasters after being drastically curtailed due to algae blooms and the domoic acid toxin they produced. Approval of $28.8 million in federal relief funding was gained last June, with most of it covering Dungeness losses. Based on guidelines from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and feedback from industry stakeholders, CDFW proposes that 89 percent of the relief funding be spent on “direct payments” to commercial fishermen, buyer/processors and sport charter boat operations. >click to read<19:31

‘There Aren’t A Lot Of Other Options’: Port Orford’s Season Of Crab And Crisis

Oregon’s 2018 toxic algae troubles didn’t begin with the summer bloom tainting Salem’s water supply. The opening salvo actually came from the wintry Pacific, where high levels of domoic acid — a neurotoxin byproduct of marine algae blooms — disrupted seafood production along Oregon’s South Coast. For Port Orford in particular, where the fishing industry sustains about one-third of the local economy, this meant a season of loss instead of bounty. By the numbers, Port Orford really can’t afford more economic distress. >click to read<10:58

Southeast Dungeness crab fishermen will have full season in 2018

Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fishery had a strong first week and will not have a shortened season like last year. The summer season for most of the region started June 15. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced in late June that crabbers would have a full two-month summer season. Fishermen caught more than 871,000 lbs. during the first week. The agency uses the first week’s catch to estimate how many crab will be harvested during the season. Tessa Bergmann with Fish and Game in Petersburg said this year’s estimate is the third highest on record. “Our harvest estimate for the 2018 season is just over 3.7 million lbs.,” Bergmann said. That is well above the 2.25 million lb. estimate required for a full season in Southeast Alaska. It will mean crabbers can keep fishing through Aug. 15. >click to read<15:08

North Coast crabbers haul in above average catch in 2017-18 season worth $42 million

The North Coast had a significantly improved Dungeness crab season this year, hauling in 14.3 million of the 19.4 million pounds of Dungeness crab landed in California so far this season, according to preliminary state data provided to the Times-Standard on Tuesday. While there were a few obstacles, Trinidad crab fisherman Mike McBrayer said Tuesday that he had a much improved season thanks to a great crew and good weather that permitted him to get out on the water more days. “And there were crabs, and that’s always a good thing,” McBrayer said.>click to read<15:47

Crescent City’s annual crab haul larger than average

Despite a late start to the season, commercial fishermen brought slightly more Dungeness crab to the Crescent City Harbor than in previous years, according to numbers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While this makes for increased revenue at the harbor, which collects 2 cents for every pound brought to its docks, Rick Shepherd, president of the Del Norte Fisherman’s Marketing Association, said commercial crabbers were paid less than last year.  “I think one of the problems that I witnessed was there was a larger number of boats that participated here and so I think the actual amount of crab each boat caught was less,” he said. >click to read<09:39

Local fisherman takes advantage of being able to sell crab on Kodiak docks

Fresh seafood seems like it’d be an easy thing to get in a fishing town like Kodiak. But it wasn’t until recently that it was legal for fishermen to sell what they’ve caught right off their boats on local docks.,, Brian Blondin is holding a Dungeness crab and pinching its shell to see if its ready to eat. “You always gotta feel make sure the shells are hard.”  He’s one of the first people to take advantage of the City of Kodiak allowing fisherman to sell what they’ve caught on its docks, which has only been legal since late last year. >click to read<10:54

Slow crawl for crab: Seasonal delays stifle coastal economy

Price strikes, delays and poor weather have plagued the 2017-18 Dungeness crab season from the start. Roughly four weeks into the season, landings for the non-tribal coastal crab fishery in Washington were 5,574,792 pounds, only about 60 percent of the total catch during the first weeks of 2016-17 season. “It’s clear this season we are behind,” Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said upon seeing the first official numbers of the season on Friday, Feb 16. >click to read<12:35

California crabbers concede 25 cents

Local commercial Dungeness crab fishermen return to their trade today but will receive 25 cents per pound less for their catch than when they started the season earlier this month.  Following a meeting on Monday, crabbers in Brookings, Crescent City, Trinidad, Eureka and Fort Bragg agreed to resume fishing on Tuesday, said Rick Shepherd, president of the Del Norte Fisherman’s Marketing Association. Seafood buyers are now paying fishermen $2.50 per pound, Shepherd said.  “We’re trying to hold that $2.75, but we don’t know how long we’d have to sit to do it,” he said. “There’s not much else we can do.” >click to read<11:07 

Dangerous swells will complicate harvest this week as Crabbers go to sea

An informal Dungeness crab price strike ended this week on the Washington and Oregon coast after Newport-based crabbers decided to accept $2.75 a pound from Trident Seafoods. Columbia River-based crabbers began soaking pots at 9 a.m. Monday. Crabbers didn’t reach a formal agreement with industry giant Pacific Seafoods after days of stalemated talks in which fishermen sought a starting price of $3 a pound for wholesale deliveries to processors. Last year’s price was $2.89 a pound. >click here to read< 11:53

Crabbers set to snap – Frustrations mount as price deadlock and towering swells delay season

Frustrations grew Tuesday as crabbers and processors continued drawn-out negotiations over 2018’s opening price for Dungeness crab. All was silent in the Ilwaco channel and Port of Chinook in recent days when boats ordinarily would have been noisily traveling back and forth to crabbing grounds. No lights bobbed on the ocean off the Long Beach Peninsula.  Commercial crab harvesting was set to open Monday south of the Klipsan Beach line, but price negotiations and ocean conditions are keeping boats in port. >click here to read<15:08

Board votes down change in Southeast Dungeness crab season

Crabber Max Worhatch proposed the change and successfully got the board to add the proposal to the meeting after missing the deadline for regulation changes.“I would like to seriously consider this,” Worhatch told the board. “I put a proposal in, just like this three years ago, didn’t get anywhere. The department felt like they had to have something to manage the fishery when it got to the low end. But in my experience and just from what I’ve seen in Oregon, California and Washington, size sex and season for Dungeness crab works and it works extremely well. It’s kindof an autopilot thing, doesn’t take a lot of work.” >click here to read< 10:22

Commercial crab season to open Monday but local crabbers want another test done

Following several delays, the commercial Dungeness crab fishing season for Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties is opening Jan. 15, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Wednesday.,,, Trinidad commercial crabber Craig Goucher said there are currently no plans to set gear Jan. 12. Instead, he said, local crabbers plan to wait until Jan. 15 to drop gear. “We’re going to set some test gear out and get it processed and determine what the pick out is,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “We can legally get that sample on the 15th.” >click here to read< 09:34

Negotiations could further delay crab catch – Columbia crab fishermen can start placing their pots in the ocean Friday morning, but first they have to settle on a price with processors. >click here to read< 10:17

Commercial Dungeness Crab Season to Open in Northern California

The northern California Dungeness crab fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties will open 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The opener will be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that will begin at 8:01 a.m. Jan. 12, 2018. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham had delayed the season a total of three times after crab quality test results in November and December indicated that crab were not ready for harvesting. Jan. 15 is the latest the Director can delay the season due to quality testing. >click here to read<21:23

Crab Fishing in California: Risky Business

Dungeness crab, buttery and served steaming hot, is a Christmas tradition on many central California tables. But two years ago families had to forgo their holiday treat, and they were not the only ones to suffer. California fishermen were crippled by an unprecedented algal bloom that contaminated crabs with a neurotoxin called domoic acid, which is deadly to humans. That shut business down through the most lucrative part of the season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas. click here to read the story 11:41

Long Beach area crab meat percentage drops

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife completed third round of preseason Dungeness crab testing Dec. 14 in the Long Beach test stations only. This test collected both crab shell condition and meat recovery data. Results do not bode well for a Dec. 31 start to the season. This third test was conducted at the request of members of the coastal crab industry, to confirm the results of the second round of tests from this same area. click here to read the story 12:42

Northern California Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Opener Pushed Back to Dec. 31

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced an additional 15-day delay for the upcoming commercial Dungeness crab season, based on the results of another round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 5. The tests continued to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting. The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, 2017, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017. click here to read the press release 19:32

Southeast Alaska: Commercial Dungeness fall fishery better than expected

The summer season for Dungeness crab didn’t go so well. In fact, it was the lowest harvest in over 30 years and managers ended up closing the fishery three weeks early. The summer season brought in 1.3 million pounds, less than half the average harvest.  With such a poor summer, state regulation required the fall season for Dungeness crab be shortened to 30 days, half the length of the normal fishery for most of Southeast. So, when the numbers came in, managers were surprised that harvests were not low. Joe Stratman is Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s lead crab biologist for Southeast. “We exceeded our expectations which is encouraging,” Stratman said. audio report, click here to read the story 13:50

Crab start delayed again

The commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed again along the entire Pacific coast north of Point Arena, California until at least Dec. 31 after tests showed some crab are still too low in meat yield. Crab on the south Washington coast met the meat standard in Dec. 4 testing, but all areas north of Cascade Head have to be at or above 23 percent before the season can open. South of Cascade Head, the required meat threshold is 25 percent. (Cascade Head is located just north of Lincoln City on the north Oregon coast.) click here to read the story 14:04

Commercial Dungeness Crab Season in Northern California Delayed Due to Crab Quality Testing

Due to poor crab meat quality test results conducted at the beginning of November, the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has issued a memo delaying the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season in Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties) for a minimum of 15 days until Dec. 16, under authority of Fish and Game Code section 8276.2. Crab quality tests ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting and follow the testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee that is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. click here to read the press release 21:15

WDFW delays commercial crab fishery on Washington coast due to low meat content

State shellfish managers have delayed the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery on Washington’s coast due to inadequate meat in crab shells. Recent testing indicates crabs along the coast do not have sufficient meat in their shells to meet industry standards for harvest. The fishery will be delayed until at least Dec. 16 to allow more time for crabs to fill with more meat. Contrary to an erroneous news report, WDFW did not delay the commercial crab fishery due to a harmful algae bloom click here to read the story 17:53

The first Dungeness crabs are in, and they’re meaty!

“The crabs are meaty, and my haul was good,” Capt. Barry Day said upon his return to Pillar Point Harbor on the San Mateo County coast, where he sold the crustaceans straight off his boat for $6 a pound. Dan Chavez, the meat and seafood department manager at Draeger’s in Blackhawk, echoed that sentiment after receiving his store’s first shipment of live crabs Thursday. “They’re beautiful! They’re 2 pounds and over,” he said. “I called everyone and said, ‘Crab at my house tonight!’” click here to read the story 16:41

Oregon delays start of Dungeness crab season by more than 2 weeks

The traditional Dec. 1 opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed until at least Dec. 16 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield.,, Crab quality testing in early November showed that none of the test areas met the criteria for a Dec. 1 opening. The delayed opening will allow for crabs to fill with more meat. click here to read the story 15:58

“Last year’s season opening was also delayed but still brought in the highest ex-vessel value ever ($62.7 million) with 20.4 million pounds landed, about 22 percent above the 10-year average,” the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlifre said in a statement. click here to read the story

 

‘Tis the season – Commercial crabbing begins off the coast of Half Moon Bay

As the clock struck midnight, local fishermen of the coast of Half Moon Bay began eagerly reeling in the first commercially caught crabs of the season. The scene at Pillar Point Harbor’s docks the day before the official Nov. 15 opener of California’s commercial crab fishery was described simply as “a zoo.” “We’re excited. The last month or so you’ve just been working on the boat, working on the crab pots, getting everything ready. And now, you finally get to go to work, get to catch something. We’re all pumped up,” said Porter McHenry, captain of the Merva W and president of the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association. click here to read the story 10:38

Dungeness crab season under way on the North Coast

The commercial crabbing season will start on time off the Sonoma Coast this fall for the first time in three years, putting fresh Dungeness crab in local markets by week’s end and restoring long-held autumn and holiday traditions. Commercial crabbers around Bodega Harbor hustled Monday to load boats with gear and bait and leave port in time to start soaking crab pots off the coast by early Tuesday morning. Their clocks were set for 6:01 a.m., the first moment by law at which they are permitted to put gear in the water. They can start pulling full pots and landing crab at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the official start of the season. click here to read the story 09:04