US crab processors dwindling

There was a steady pulse on the crab picking floor at Mattamuskeet Seafood in Swan Quarter last Tuesday morning. Cumbia music thumped on a radio. Knives clacked against the table. Forty-four gallon trash cans whirred across the floor, ferrying steamed blue crabs to each picking station and taking shells away.

There are two styles of crab picking among the 25 or so workers, depending upon which part of Mexico they call home. Those from the state of Tabasco on Mexico’s east coast line the crab up on the edge of the table to cut off its legs. Others, such as Dalia Salazar from the state of Sinaloa on Mexico’s west coast, do all the work while holding the crab in the palms of their hands.

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