West Coast Crabbers Strike for Higher Dungeness Price
West Coast crabbers from Bodega Bay north through Oregon and Washington to the Canadian border went on strike this week after wholesale Dungeness crab buyers offered low prices for the crab at the docks. Earlier this month some West Coast crabbers and processors agreed to a $3 per pound price. But this week some buyers were offering $2.75 per pound. The strike was possible because staggered season openings along the California coast mean that the price of crab has not been set in all fisheries. “There’s going to be no crabbing from any port from Bodega Bay to the Washington-Canada border,” said Lorne Edwards, president of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association. “It’s huge … I’m not expecting a change until after New Year’s.”
The proposed budget for Alaska's Department of Fish and Game in 2018 will slash funding to the Department 36 percent to $28.9 million. The budget cut is expected to reduce the ADF&G's ability to accurately monitor Alaska's key fish stocks, including salmon. The expectation is that the state's fishery managers will take very conservative approaches in setting harvest quotas since they will not have access to the best available stock data.
In other news, the Gulf of Alaska's commercial sablefish fishing quota will take into consideration the number of fish lost to "depredation" by killer and sperm whales for the first time starting next year. The NPFMC increased the sablefish quota in the Gulf for next year to 10,074 metric tons. Fishermen will also be permitted to use pot gear to harvest sablefish as part of a regulatory decision intended to reduce the impact from whales.
Meanwhile, prices for king and snow crab in the Japanese market are up as much as 50 percent because of limited supplies. Imports from key suppliers in Russia and Alaska are down sharply in 2016.
Finally, we publish a story about an assessment of China’s farmed white shrimp industry in 2016, which was recently released by China’s Ministry of Agriculture. The agency’s experts visited 38 white shrimp aquaculture facilities in six different provinces. The report concluded that China's white shrimp output declined in 2016 from a combination of poor broodstock and feed quality, pollution, disease and issues with the weather.
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