West Coast Crab Strike Ends in 12-Cent Increase

(CN) – West Coast Dungeness crab fishermen struck a deal Friday with a major seafood wholesaler to end a strike that kept fishing boats from Washington to California docked for over a week.

Fishermen negotiated a 12-cent increase with influential buyer Pacific Choice Seafood, raising Dungeness crab prices to $2.87 per pound.

The strike began on Dec. 28, after Pacific Choice Seafood announced it was dropping crab prices from the negotiated price of $3 per pound to $2.75. Fishermen claimed the Eureka-based conglomerate abrupt price cut came less than two months after negotiating with West Coast fishermen.

Fishermen from Oregon and Washington joined the California strike and quickly tied up their boats. The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association said nearly 1,200 boats were docked during the holiday strike.

Pacific Seafood’s general counsel Dan Occhipinti said the agreement is good for both sides and helps put the fishing community back to work.

“The final agreement is a good result that gets fishermen back on the water, jobs going in the processing plants and fresh sustainable Dungeness crab onto family dinner tables across America,” Occhipinti said in an email.

While the sides reached an agreement Friday, turbulent weather kept crab fishermen off the Pacific Ocean over the weekend. A series of storms battered Northern California and more wet weather is predicted this week.

California’s commercial crab season, which was suspended for major stretches last year because of a toxic algae bloom, is open until July 30.