Dungeness crabbers strike over low prices

Crabbers from Bodega Bay north to Canada went on strike Wednesday afternoon after wholesale Dungeness buyers sought to pay less for the beloved crustacean.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that fishermen have agreed to either cease crabbing in areas off the Sonoma Coast where the Dungeness crab season has already opened, or delay the start of their season in hopes of retaining a price of $3 per pound. Buyers are offering $2.75.

The strike does not affect crab fisherman south of Bodega Bay, who continue to haul in good catches during a season that started in mid-November, but it could put upward pressure on prices across California as the season progresses. Bay Area shoppers have been paying $4.99-$7.99 per pound so far this season.

“There’s going to be no crabbing from any port from Bodega Bay to the Washington-Canada border,” Lorne Edwards, president of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association, told the Press Democrat. “It’s huge … I’m not expecting a change until after New Year’s.”

The strike comes during what was supposed to be a recovery year for the crab fishery, which was shut down most of last season along the West Coast because of high levels of Domoic acid detected in crabs in some areas.

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California News
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