Crab season: 'Fishermen just needed to go fishing'


CHARLESTON, Ore. -- The opening of the commercial crab season is traditionally December 1, but this year it was delayed to ensure quality and to work out negotiations between fishermen and processors over price.

While crabbers in Newport agreed to a $2.75 starting price, we were told Friday the offer was not accepted by the majority of west coast fishermen.

Negotiations were terminated January 9 and the season opened on the 15th.

"Price negotiations kinda broke down and fishermen just needed to go fishing, so the processors have set their price and that's what the fishermen will be going for supply, and demand will dictate the price and I'm sure it'll adjust soon," said Ryan Rogers.

In the meantime, fishermen set their gear earlier this week and have been crabbing.

"Boats have been working on their own to negotiate with the plants on what price they'll get for their crabs,” said Hugh Link with Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. “I think the markets broke open and the crab boats are out and going in between storms and braving this weather to try to get some nice fresh crab to the market."

Commercial Dungeness crab is Oregon's most valuable fishery.

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