Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shell-Shocked: Oregon's Dungeness Crab Season Delayed

Posted By on Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Fresh Dungeness crab from Oregon's coastline is a holiday tradition, but this year's crab may not make it to the Christmas dinner, with crabbers still in port.

The Medford Tribune is reporting that crab fishermen have yet to set their pots, waiting until Oregon's signature crustaceans are meaty enough to eat. Sampling done in November by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife indicated that Dungeness captured near Brookings, Port Orford and Astoria were below the harvest threshold.

The minimum threshold is a 25 percent meat-recovery rate, meaning a 2-pound crab must yield at least a half-pound of meat.

"When we let the crab genie out of the bottle and start fishing for them, we want to make sure they are the best possible crab we can get to market," Nick Furman, director of the Charleston-based Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, told the Tribune. "We definitely think it's worth the wait."

Last season, 23 million crabs were caught off the Oregon Coast, 18 million in December alone.

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