Crab price set; fishermen drop pots

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.  — Dozens of crab fishermen roared out the Golden Gate at dawn Wednesday to set their pots in time for the midnight opening of crab season, after crabbers and fish wholesalers reached agreement on a price.The creamy, buttery Dungeness crabs should start arriving at local markets by Friday morning.Crab fishermen will get $3 a pound, meaning the retail market price will be a little more than $6 per pound, according to distributors who approved the agreement Tuesday.The usually contentious negotiations between crabbers and wholesalers were cut short this year when distributors quickly agreed to pay fisherman from Bodega, San Francisco and Half Moon Bay $3 a pound.Last year’s price dispute delayed the start of the season for almost two weeks.”I’m more surprised than anything else,” said Tim Ports, the general manager of Ports Seafood Inc. in San Francisco. “It is not very often that we have such a smooth start to the crab season.”Recreational fishermen have reported catching fewer crabs this year compared with previous years.”I think there is less product in the water than they thought originally – you would not see the buyers line up that easily behind what the fishermen wanted otherwise,” Ports said.Last year, wholesalers paid fishermen $2.25 a pound. But increased labor and fuel costs, as well as the smaller supply of crab, all led crabbers to ask for an extra 75 cents per pound this year.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Crab-price-set-fishermen-drop-pots-4037383.php#ixzz2CGKkAUht

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