Negotiations continue over prices for commercial crab

(KCBY image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Commercial crabbing was set to open January 15, but it’s still on hold as negotiations continue over price.

This season, processors dropped the price they offered to fishermen last season by about 50 cents.

Fishermen say that's too low and would make it difficult for them to make up expenses.

"Price isn't what we think it should be,” said Tyler long with Coos Umpqua Crab Association. “We have the best market conditions we've ever seen and we're looking at the offers that they put out… those are now less then we've fished for in three years so our prices have been going down and our expenses are going up."

The season normally starts the first of December, but it was delayed because the crab didn't have enough meat.

Fishermen say a recent test shows the quality of the crab is now better and they're optimistic talks will move in the right direction.

"Everybody seems to be calm and collected and hope that since we got these results, and the bad weather front goes through, we'll be able to get to work,” said the association’s Stuart Schuttpelz. “We kind of expect something to come from the processors that reflects the quality that we see."

Schuttpelz says the fishermen will continue meeting throughout the process.

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