This is what Crescent City’s harbor needed.
Big, plump crabs piling up in numbers that haven’t been seen for years.
Boat crews toiling around the clock to catch ’em while they’re hot, then lining up to download their bounty in a harbor bustling with activity day and night.
A local seafood plant pushing just as hard as the boat crews to work the harvest, employing dozens of local residents in the process.
And a couple of locations for consumers to buy the tasty crustaceans any way they want them — already cooked or so fresh they’re still snapping their pincers.
It all adds up to a welcome reminder that Crescent City is the Dungeness crab capital of California. And it’s a shot in the arm for those who would like to see our port realize more of its potential for seafood processing and sales.
Local leaders are working to fulfill that potential on two broad fronts: applying for federal stimulus money while studying the problem of the harbor’s inadequate wastewater treatment plant. If they can figure out a way to allow Alber Seafood Co. to route its effluence to the city’s new treatment plant, the harbor might not only keep Alber around but attract additional processors.
After all, it’s nice to bring in a bumper crop, but it would be nicer to process more of it locally instead of watching most of it get immediately trucked away to processing plants elsewhere.
Crab harvests are cyclical, and this week has brought promising evidence that we are back on an upswing. The excitement that permeates the docks today should strengthen the resolve of local officials to see that our harbor becomes all that it can be.