Crab catch earns fishermen $50M

COOS BAY, Ore. - The commercial Dungeness crab season came to a close last week with some of the highest prices paid to fishermen in the crab fishery's history.

According to the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, fishermen landed about 14.4 million pounds of crab during the season, about 5.5 million pounds down from average.

The catch brought in about $50 million to fishermen thanks to supply and demand fueled by exports to Asia.

"When we ship all the product out live, then there's no processing of that product in Oregon do: there's no cooking, no backing, no picking of that crab, and the fisheries depend on that for employing people and keeping the dollars rolling through the processing facilities so we also tend to see less domestic supply in the restaurants," said Hugh Link with the commission.

Link said he hopes to see landings get back to the normal 20 million pound range so there can be plenty of crab to go around.