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The great Northern California Dungeness crab drought is about to end. Crab boat skippers and wholesalers agreed on a price Tuesday to end an 11-day strike.

Crab fishing boats were scheduled to sail out of three ports — Bodega Bay, San Francisco and Half Moon Bay — before dawn Wednesday to the crab grounds in the Gulf of the Farallones.

“We’re happy,” said Larry Collins, president of the Crab Boat Owners Association. “We got USD 3 a pound, the price we wanted. We’re ready to go.”

The dispute began on 2 December when fishing boat skippers began hearing that wholesalers, who had a glut of fresh crab, were cutting the price they had offered fishermen.

The crab boats had been offered USD 3 a pound when the season started in November, but now word went out around the docks that the new price would be only USD 2.75 a pound, tops. Others in the fishing industry heard that Oregon-based boats selling crab in Northern California were getting only USD 2.25 a pound.

So about 100 boats, which supply the bulk of the fresh Dungeness crab in Northern California, stayed in port. The strike, coupled by bad weather that cut down on fishing at the end of November, meant the supply of fresh crab slowed to a trickle.

Click here to read the full story from the San Francisco Chronicle >


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