Dungeness crab season closure has ‘cut off a key economic lifeline to small coastal fishing communities’

A group of Oregon Dungeness crab fishers comprising nearly 10% of the state’s permitted commercial fleet sent an open letter this morning to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife strongly criticizing the Department’s failure to open the Dungeness crab season along approximately half of Oregon’s coast in areas where crab have exceeded meat quality thresholds for several weeks. As the delayed opening enters its second month, the fishers’ letter describes in detail how the Department’s refusal to open the season has cut off a key economic lifeline to small fishing communities up and down the Oregon coast. The letter also takes sharp aim at the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee, which the fishers describe as an “echo chamber” made up of special interests including major processors that benefit from lower prices that predominate after the end of the peak-demand holiday season, at the expense of mom-and-pop businesses and Oregon consumers. >click to read< 17:24

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