SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Caryl Luckett, visiting from Montana, dug into a fresh Dungeness crab at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday evening.

“It’s delicious, it really is,” she exclaimed.

But the crab she was savoring didn’t come from local waters, where a crab-fishing ban caused by high levels of domoic acid from a huge algae bloom has so far put the kibosh on the Northern California crab season.

Her crab came from Oregon, part of a big shipment arriving from California’s neighbors to the north. Thanks to this new supply, several local seafood restaurants have reduced their sky-high prices for fresh Dungeness. Alioto’s No. 8 at the Wharf dropped prices by $4 per pound.

“Oh we’re very excited, Dungeness crab’s back in the area. They’re safe, they’re coming out of Oregon and Washington in time for the first set of football playoffs, in time for crab feeds for the weekend,” said Angela Cincotta of the Alioto-Lazio Fish Company in San Francisco.

Still, it won’t be enough to make up for the lost holiday season. Cincotta said that in her 30-plus years with the family business, it’s the worst hit they’ve taken.

But the open season in the northwest is a step in the right direction.


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