Oregon crab exports to China: 'That hurts'
CHARLESTON, Ore. -- Oregon crab exports to China are expected to double this year according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but that doesn't mean good news for local markets.
Officials say that almost 1.5 million pounds went overseas in 2010, and that number increased to 2.2 million pounds in 2011.
Local fisheries are already having a hard time with the season opening late and less crab coming in than usual, on top of outside buyers taking away their business.
Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston says it lost over 40 percent of business to foreign markets last year. Local fisheries are already having a hard time with the season opening late and less crab coming in than usual...on top of outside buyers taking away their business.
Those outside buyers can offer crabbers more money than local fisheries can, and Scott Adams from Hallmark says he just can't compete.
"It's really obvious for me," Adams said. "I have boats that fish year round and I haven't seen them for a week. Where are they? One of our most faithful boats, first trip, sold to an outside buyer, and that hurts because we have to have the product to keep us going."
Adams says he sees the crab industry having the same fate as the logging industry in Oregon.
The commercial Oregon Dungeness Crab season got off to a late start this year because of a low meat content percentage; but, the season runs through the middle of August 2013.