CALIFORNIA CRAB INDUSTRY TO CELEBRATE DUNGENESS DEBUT
MEDIA ADVISORY / ONSITE COVERAGE REQUEST: FRI, APRIL 1 – 1PM
CALIFORNIA CRAB INDUSTRY TO CELEBRATE DUNGENESS DEBUT WITH
FISHERMEN’S WHARF CRAB FEED
WHO: California’s Crab Fleet, Crab Buyers, Allied Industries, Regulators, and Community
WHAT: Crab Feed to Celebrate the Opening of California Dungeness Crab Season
WHEN: Friday, April 1: 1pm – 3 pm
WHERE: Fishermen’s Wharf, San Francisco
In front of the Seaman’s Chapel: Pier 45
San Francisco – After languishing through a four-month long closure, inclement weather, and price negotiations, California’s crab fishermen and women are finally ready to get back to work providing the safe, local and sustainable seafood icon that has become synonymous with California seafood: Dungeness crab.
To commemorate the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s decision to open the fishery on 26 March, the crab industry will host a crab feed for industry representatives, regulators and policy-makers who all played a role in successfully navigating the unprecedented fishery closure. The media is invited to join in the occasion, which will take place on Friday afternoon in front of the Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel on Fishermen’s Wharf.
Offering remarks will be Representative Jared Huffman (D-North Coast), a longtime ally of California’s fishing fleet; State Senator Mike McGuire (D- North Coast/North Bay), chair of California’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a champion of San Francisco’s fishing community; and Lori French, president of Central Coast Women for Fisheries and member of a multi-generational fishing family.
“It’s been a incredibly difficult road for California’s crab fleet,” said Tim Sloane, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “But the time has come to put the past in the past, and some crab on the dinner table.”
“The quality looks great, the fleet is finally back to work, and I can tell you that it will have been worth the wait,” said Larry Collins, President of the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners’ Association. “Consider it your civic duty as a Californian to take advantage of the best seafood your fishermen have to offer.”
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) indefinitely delayed the Dungeness crab season, which would have started on November 15, 2015, due to concerns over the presence of domoic acid in crab samples. CDFW, in concert with the California of Public Health and the Office of Health Hazard Assessment, determined that any health concerns for crabs south of the Sonoma/Mendocino County had passed, and announced the opening of the fishery in that area on March 18, more than four months after the season would have normally started.
California’s crab fishery is normally worth approximately $65 million on an annual basis to the 600-odd vessels that participate in the fishery. That figure does not account for economic impacts through the supply chain after crabs cross the dock. California’s crab fleet and those allied industries suffered a huge impact during the closure, which lead California Governor Jerry Brown to request a fishery disaster declaration from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Representatives Huffman and Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) to introduce a disaster relief bill in Congress. California’s crabbers are ready to put those hardships behind them.
“Thank god and the ocean that our fishing families can start picking up the pieces,” said Central Coast Women for Fisheries President Lori French. “Crabbers really came together during the closure, and now we get a chance to see them do what they do best.”