Fishermen are waiting for higher initial price offer
The crab pots were still on the boats Friday in the harbor. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Commercial crab fishermen from Crescent City to Fort Bragg said Friday they are on strike until seafood buyers offer a higher price.
The commercial crab vessels could have been setting gear since Thursday morning, and the season was scheduled to open Sunday, but the North Coast fleet has voted to stay at port until buyers are willing to pay more than the first offer of $2.50 a pound.
“The bait is going into the freezer, which means they’re going to be here for a while,” said Ron Phillips, president of the Crescent City Harbor Commission, while observing an idle port with boats stacked high with crab traps Friday.
Rick Harris, general manager of Pacific Choice Seafood in Eureka, said his company is offering $2.50 a pound this year — the same as last year’s opening price.
Bay Area buyers are currently paying $3 a pound, which is also what they were paying last year, so it seems we’re “virtually looking to repeat last year’s opening prices,” Harris said.
“The market is right where it was last year and it is difficult to get the market up to the level that would also satisfy the price the vessels desire,” Harris said.