SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Crab boats returned to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco Thursday, with the first Dungeness crab of the 2012 season. The haul was brought to restaurants early in the afternoon.

A fisherman, who did not give his name, told KCBS the crabs look healthy and strong, with the quality excellent. The fisherman also expressed a sense of relief.

Last year, a price dispute between the crabbers and the wholesalers meant local Dungeness crab was not available until after Thanksgiving.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Matthew Violante, general manager at Alioto’s Restaurant, said this year’s on-time start of crab season is great news for customers.

“For tourists, it means a chance to really sample to local flavor,” he said.

The fishermen are getting paid $3 per pound, up from $2.25 last year. The crustaceans will be available for a little more than $6 per pound retail, which also reflects expectations of this year’s yield being down from last season’s record catch.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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