December 29, 2015… Oregon Dungeness crab fishermen and seafood processor representatives participating in state-supervised crab price negotiations have agreed on an opening price of $2.90 per pound for the 2016 Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast, set to begin next week. The agreement has been reviewed and approved by Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba.
The state-supervised negotiations, which involved representatives from six seafood processors and five marketing associations from Brookings to Astoria, came to a successful conclusion last week at a meeting in Newport.
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.
In addition, testing of crab samples conducted by the Oregon Department of Agriculture show that any detections of the marine toxin domoic acid are below the level of concern. Dungeness crab harvested from the Oregon Coast and sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe and wholesome for consumers.
Crabbers will begin placing their pots on Friday, January 1 in preparation for the January 4 opening.
Dungeness crab is the most valuable commercial fishery on the Oregon coast. Last season’s harvest produced landings of 8.3 million pounds and an ‘ex-vessel’ value of $33 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.