Attention crab lovers: Dungeness season is upon us! Commercial crabbers around the state have readied their boats and pots because on December 16 the state gave the green light on harvesting the succulent crustaceans.
Robert Anthony, captain of the Liberty II out of Newport, says December is go-time because the crabs have regrown their hard shells that they shed over the summer. “The crabs are done with their molting, and they are in their best condition,” he says. “The crabs need to be full of meat, and they have to meet certain weight requirements.”
All that delicious meat doesn’t just taste good; it’s something you can feel good about eating. Oregon has the only sustainable Dungeness fishery in the world certified by the Marine Stewardship Counsel. Commercial fishermen and recreationalists alike are only allowed to keep male crabs measuring 6.5 inches across the shell. Females and smaller crabs must be returned to the sea to ensure healthy populations.
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Story by Eileen Garvin
Photo by Justin Bailie