Price battle idles crab industry on eve of season

Natural Resource News Note:

Crabbing season begins on Wednesday and the season is in jeopardy due to unresolved price negotiations between the fishermen and the crab processors. This comes at a time when everyone is predicting a bountiful season. Price is sensitive as the previous two seasons have seen the price per-pound drop from $2 to $1.94. The Coos Bay World reports that Dungeness crab by itself accounts for nearly 50% of the entire fishing industry which can surpass $100 in a year. Nick Furman of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. said that they are “honoring the price negotiation process right now and waiting to set gear until there is some resolution.”

The price war impacts the entire coast, The Times Standard reports,

Price talks overseen by the Oregon Department of Agriculture are ongoing, in large part focused on resolving issues surrounding crab quality. Typically, if Oregon fishermen agree on a price, the remainder of the West Coast fleet motors to sea as well. Dungeness crab fishing has been open in the San Francisco Bay area since Nov. 15, but fishermen have reportedly tied up their boats over the price they are being offered. Locally, some markets are bringing in crab from the San Francisco area, while others are waiting.
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