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:

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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.

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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.

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