By Holly Quan

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – This year’s bumper crop of Dungeness crab have North Coast fishermen capitalizing on the growing market in China. Over half the crab pulled from Bodega and San Francisco Bays are now headed to Asia.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Last season, Bodega Bay fisherman Tony Anello netted 128,000 pounds of crab. This year he’s more than doubled that, and the season isn’t over until May.

“It’s the light at the end of the tunnel for us,” said Anello.

For years the crab catch has been lackluster, couple that with the cancellation of salmon season and local fishermen are barely scraping by. Now, thanks to a record crab season, fishermen have been able to sell to exporters at higher prices.

“Once you start with an export, and you introduce crab to them, you have to have a steady supply otherwise you lose credibility and they’ll move on to somebody else,” said Anello. “That’s the reason that the popularity is gaining over there because we do have the abundance of crab this year, and we have the ability to export. The more crab we export, the more demand there is for crab over there.”

Fishermen report seeing a good number of juvenile crabs in the ocean, which points to a continuation of this bounty into the next few years.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. Sal says:

    Unfortunately all the crab being sent overseas is being harvested by LARGE boats that can carry 3000 crab pots!!!!!!!!! So the little 30′ boats,the ones who made San Francisco famous for dungeness crab, are being forced out of business!!!!I own one of those boats and the big boats STEAL from my pots on a regular basis. This is illegal but Fish and Game has to witness this the offense and they are never out on the fishing grounds. We need pot limits and we need to have day crabbing only. This way the big guys can’t ruin the crab harvest by taking many thousands of pounds of crab A DAY!!!! And they can’t steal from us in the middle of the night.

  2. Kodiax says:

    that works for me too Sal. I agree all the way!

  3. Bloodhounds says:

    Where are the Fish and Game guys? Probably looking the other way and getting a cut from the big guys. Kind of like Chase looking the other way when Bernie Madoff was ripping every one off. Will we ever get what we work for? GO SAL!!!

  4. Crab Eater says:

    Not enough Fish and Game wardens to do the job correctly
    They are good guys overwhelmed by the job

  5. california crabber says:

    sal, do you actualy believe what you say or are you making it up to create drama . or is it poor little me ,the big bad boats are taking all my crab. first of all its not the larger boats stealing your crab but its guys like your self making excuses why its ok to steal. there are no boats that carry 3000 pots or that fish close to that many pots . i know of 1 guy fishing 900 pots and he is from the bay seems to me that every body screaming for pot limits should at least tell the truth about it or at least find out what the facts are.

  6. sal says:

    California Crabber…You’re obviously a big boat or you’re ignorant.

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