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After Delay, Dungeness Crab Season Gets Underway...in 2019

Lisa Oulette

The New Year sees commercial crabbers in Oregon and Washington setting their gear for Dungeness crab, after a month’s delay.

Previous testing showed crabs were either below the “meat quality” standards, or had elevated levels of domoic  acid, a naturally-occurring but potentially harmful toxin.

Tim Novotny is with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, based in Coos Bay.  He says processors and crab fishermen still need to work out a pricing agreement, but it looks like things are moving along for the season.

“It’s a product that everybody’s been waiting for, especially this time of year with all of the family get-togethers and sporting events," says Novotny.

Credit Joanne Wan / Flickr.com
Crab time!

"It’s a party favorite, so people have been waiting. And they know that through these tests that we’re talking about, they’re going to have a very good product that starts to come into market, whenever that does happen.”

Crab are still below the meat quality criteria required by the state between Cape Arago and Gold Beach in Oregon. Those areas will remain closed.

More than 23 million pounds of crab were caught last season, which also started late.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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