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Crab Fishery Open but no one’s sailing over wholesale buyer price dispute

Excalibur and Lady Law sit idle in Newport, waiting for higher wholesale buyer crab prices….

Crab Fleet coolin’ their pots…waiting for at least the other 25-cents…
Ken Gagne photo

Crab fishing operations remain in “park” all up and down the West Coast. The crab season started out with a wholesale buyer price of $3.00 a pound for crabbers off Port Orford and Bandon. But suddenly, for the rest of the buyers up and down the coast, the price fell to $2.75 a pound. And that ticked off the fishing community that quickly decided to stay in port as a show of solidarity in their demands for a $3.00 per pound starting price. Last year it was $2.90 and gradually migrated up to above $4.00 when supply started to dwindle while consumer demand remained high.

So there they sit, waiting for the wholesale buyers to agree to negotiate. So far it hasn’t happened. It’s been observed that the offshore seas have been pretty rough so there’s no reason why the boats shouldn’t stay in port. But when the seas begin to flatten out, it might produce a different perspective – $2.75 a pound is just 9% lower than $3 bucks. We’ll see if the crabbers “take the bait” while hoping for higher rates when consumer demand goes up.

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