National Fisherman


The commercial Dungeness crab season in Central California opened Nov. 14 and started off great, until the weather took a turn and kept boats in port. The market is hungry for crabs, and consumers are paying top dollar to start the season.

Commercial fishing boats steamed back to port with full loads after the first haul of crabs. The market had a strong appetite for crabs, with a negotiated price to start at $3 per pound from wholesalers. The price may triple by the time crabs make it to market. Consumers may pay up to $10 a crab off the dock.

The price was so strong from wholesale markets, many commercial boats simply unloaded to the local buyers and wanted to steam back out for more.

Mother Nature had different plans, however. The first winter storms hit the coast shortly after the season started, and many boats ended up tied to the docks.

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Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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