Strike by West Coast crab fishermen ends after 11 days
EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — An 11-day strike by thousands of West Coast crab fishermen has ended after a successful negotiation of prices with seafood processors.
The agreement reached late Friday will restart the sputtering season for much-sought-after Dungeness crabs in Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association told KRCR-TV in Eureka, California, that the crabbers had settled on a price of $2.875 per pound of crabs with major buyer Pacific Choice Seafood.
The processors had initially agreed to $3 a pound in early December, then backed off to $2.75, which led to the strike. The agreed-upon price is exactly halfway between those figures.
The association says the deal was reached in Oregon, which sets the price for the entire Coast.
Bernie Lindley, a crab fisherman in Brookings, Oregon, said he has mixed feelings about the price.
“Happy? I don’t know,” Lindley told the Curry Coastal Pilot. “In a successful negotiation, nobody’s happy and nobody’s pissed. For me, personally, I wish it would’ve been resolved more fairly for the fishermen, but we’re back to work, and so be it.”
The strike left crab pots empty in places such as Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco during what would normally be among the busiest times for the craved crustaceans.
The season’s beginning was also slowed by the presence of domoic acid in some parts of the three states, which can make the crabs unsafe to eat. And even now it could be further slowed by a big weekend storm approaching the Western U.S.