Crab Strike Is On, and Dungeness Is Off the Menu

Flickr/Willie Volk

Fresh Dungeness crab at Fisherman's Wharf.

A strike of Bay Area crabbers is starting to hurt local businesses, as Dungeness crab begin to disappear from restaurants and small markets.
Crab boat skippers began striking after wholesalers slashed prices.  

That's bad news for businesses that depend on a steady supply. Annette Yang of Nettie's Crab Shack calls the strike a "bummer."

"We're on hold like everybody else," Yang said.  "So we're probably running out of the last of it today (Thursday). And then unfortunately probably won't have whole crab in the shell for the rest of the week until it's resolved."

At Berkeley's Monterey Fish Market, manager Tom Worthington said the company hasn't dropped the price its paying a dime. He says he's trying to get his hands on every crab possible.

"We're stuck in the middle and also our fisherman are stuck in the middle," Worthington said. "They would get the price that we've promised them from the very beginning but they can't go fishing under threat from other fishermen."

Worthington says the dispute is being driven by the big operators. He says large scale wholesalers have all the crab they need for the season and large fishing operations have already made enough money to afford the strike.    

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