Oregon commercial Dungeness crab season delayed again

Published on
December 10, 2019

The Oregon commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed until at least the end of the year, according to a Seattle Times report.

There is no update on when the Washington state season is set to open. Last month, fishery officials in California, Washington, and Oregon came together and decided to delay the season opening until at least the middle of December.

The delay is due to small crab sizes, with samples being too low in meat. Around a quarter of a crab’s weight has to be meat before the season is allowed to open. Testing will continue in order to decide whether the season should open on 31 December, whether the start date should be pushed into 2020, or whether separate areas should get individual opening dates.

“Our criteria for testing the crab and the standards that they have to meet have strengthened over time, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve had more delays in recent years than people might remember from a decade or two ago,” Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife State Fishery Manager Troy Buell told Jefferson Public Radio.

Although the season typically lasts until the end of the summer, the majority of Dungeness crabs are harvested towards the beginning of the season.

This marks the second year in a row that the state has missed the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, the most lucrative part of the season for fishermen.
Last year, the delayed Dungeness season in Oregon resulted in 18.7 million pounds of landings, with an ex-vessel value of USD 66.7 million (EUR 58.9 million).

Even without a firm start date for the commercial season, the recreational crabbing season is open up and down the entire Oregon coast.

Photo courtesy of SNC Art and More/Shutterstock

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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