The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will remain closed off Oregon’s North Coast as marine toxin levels continue to be high elsewhere.
Fishery managers opted to continue to delay the opener — already held back for several weeks — with recent samples of crab in Washington state showing domoic acid levels above the established threshold for human health.
The continued closure impacts fishermen who would work in the fishery in ocean waters from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border. The two states had previously announced they would open the northern Oregon Coast and Washington together.
Farther north in Washington, the Quinault Tribe recalled 29 tons of Dungeness crab caught between Dec. 23 and Dec. 28 because of toxin levels.
Testing off Oregon shows crab are below the action level of 30 parts per million.
The commercial Dungeness fishery on the West Coast is managed under a tri-state agreement between Oregon, Washington and California. The fishery is one of Oregon’s most lucrative fisheries.
Price negotiations are holding up the start of the season elsewhere. In Coos Bay, news outlets reported earlier this week that crab fishermen declined an offer from Pacific Seafood for $2.50 a pound. The seafood giant recently countered with an offer of $2.75 and a 30-day hold that would maintain that price for at least 30 days.