Oregon Dungeness crab fishermen and seafood processor representatives participating in state-supervised crab price negotiations have agreed on an opening price of $3.00 per pound for the 2017 Dungeness crab season partial opening this week south of Cape Blanco, near Port Orford on the Oregon coast. The south coast opened to commercial crabbing December 18th. The ODA-supervised negotiations, which involved representatives from five seafood processors and four marketing associations from Brookings to Astoria, came to a successful conclusion last week at a meeting in Newport.
The parties agreed to continue season opening price negotiations for the rest of the coast when state managers set a beginning date for crab fishing north of Cape Blanco. Pre-season “meat fill” tests used by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure that quality and condition standards for the crab are met indicate that the quality of the crab this year will be excellent. Dungeness crab harvested from the Oregon coast and sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe and wholesome for consumers. Crabbers began placing their pots in the open area Thursday in preparation for the Sunday opening.
Areas north of Cape Blanco are undergoing further testing out of an abundance of caution before an opening date will be announced. Dungeness crab is the most valuable commercial fishery on the Oregon coast. Last season’s harvest produced landings of 14.2 million pounds and an ‘ex-vessel’ value of $51 million dollars. This year’s harvest of Oregon Dungeness crab is expected to be good, which will once again allow consumers locally and nationwide to enjoy the official “State Crustacean” of Oregon.