Crab boats sailing with higher price

January 08, 2003 11:00 pm

By Jennifer Henion

Triplicate staff writer

Crescent City Harbor was like a ghost town again yesterday. Crab fishermen lifted their strike at midnight Wednesday after getting the price they wanted from wholesale buyers.

"It's business as usual again. I've been unloading boats all afternoon and I'll probably be till 2 a.m.," said Gayno Williams, dock manager for fish buyer Caito Fisheries.

Boats again brought in the big hauls seen at the beginning of the season Dec. 22.

"There's still a lot of crab out there but all the fishermen are on quotas now," Williams said.

That means buyers will only take a certain number of pounds per day. That number was 1,500 pounds per boat selling to Caito yesterday and will change to 1,000 pounds per boat today depending on what the market can take, Williams said.

"It's really crazy, but at least the guys get to go fishing.

"It'll settle down in a couple of days into a steady thing–the market, the fishermen's temper and the horse head thing," said Williams referring to the off-and-on flipping of price agreements between fishermen and buyers.

Crab boat owners went on strike this week when biggest controlling buyer Pacific Seafood Group dropped its price offer to $1.25 per pound from $1.40 per pound.

After meetings Tuesday, fishermen were again promised $1.40, launching them back into action.