The New Year sees commercial crabbers in Oregon and Washington setting their gear for Dungeness crab, after a month’s delay.
Previous testing showed crabs were either below the “meat quality” standards, or had elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally-occurring but potentially harmful toxin.
Tim Novotny is with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, based in Coos Bay. He says processors and crab fishermen still need to work out a pricing agreement, but it looks like things are moving along for the season.
“It’s a product that everybody’s been waiting for, especially this time of year with all of the family get-togethers and sporting events," says Novotny.
"It’s a party favorite, so people have been waiting. And they know that through these tests that we’re talking about, they’re going to have a very good product that starts to come into market, whenever that does happen.”
Crab are still below the meat quality criteria required by the state between Cape Arago and Gold Beach in Oregon. Those areas will remain closed.
More than 23 million pounds of crab were caught last season, which also started late.
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