Provided by Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission
Coos Bay, OR – Dungeness crab fishermen along most of the Oregon coast began setting their pots in the ocean on Monday at 8 a.m. after an agreement was reached in the state-supervised crab price negotiations held in Newport on December 9th and 10th. The harvest in the 2011/12 season will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, December 15th.
The terms of the agreement, negotiated between the state’s five port crab marketing associations and five seafood processors under the supervision of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), are being reviewed by ODA Director Katy Coba, with formal ratification expected shortly.
Crabbers from the port of Brookings on the OR/CA border are still tied to the dock after a third round of pre-season ‘meat fill’ tests indicated that crabs in that area did not project to meet the opening ‘standard’ by December 15th. They, along with the crab fleets in four northern California ports, will wait until January 15th to begin fishing.
The opener was marred by word from the Coast Guard Monday afternoon that a vessel had sunk northwest of the entrance to Coos Bay, OR, resulting in the loss of a well-known local fisherman. Two crewmen were rescued.