NEWPORT — First, the season was delayed. Then, it was delayed again. And now that the Dungeness crab season is finally under way, the disappointments keep coming.
"The quality in Coos Bay is just as good as you'll ever see," said Rick Lilienthal, an Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission commissioner and crab fisherman. "They are beautiful. But we just don't have very many. I saw empty pots on the first pull, which is something I don't think I've ever seen. It's pretty much over with."
The season began on Monday just after midnight, after poor crab quality in some test sites forced a pair of two-week delays from the usual Dec. 1 start.
The low supply seems to be true from one end of Oregon to the other.
In Astoria, it's taking twice as many pots this year as last year to fill the boat with crab, said John Corbin, a fisherman of 35 years and also a member of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission.
"I've only had one of my boats come in and deliver one time," Corbin said. "It definitely took a lot more pots to fill up his boat than last year. We've filled the boat with 500 pots before. This year it took 1,000. I'm not necessarily calling it a bust, but the first pick wasn't the greatest."
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Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Over 500 lots of seafood processing equipment formerly owned by Adak Seafood will be sold at auction on Tuesday, June 18, starting at 10 a.m. Hawaiian-Aleutian Daylight Time at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anchorage Alaska.
The equipment is located in a recently updated 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art processing facility in Adak, Alaska. Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Hilco Industrial, which conducts 75 machinery and equipment auctions in a wide range of industries annually, will conduct the auction.
Adak Seafood opened originally as Ada Fisheries in Anchorage in 1986. The facility, updated in 2005, is located on the island of Adak, the southernmost city in Alaska near the western end of the Aleutian Islands. The facility processed cod primarily, as well as halibut, blackcod, crab and pollock, Hilco says.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.