BODEGA BAY (KPIX) – The commercial crab season officially opened on Wednesday, but there will be no Dungeness crab for Christmas. In Bodega Bay not a single boat has left the harbor.
First it was the pandemic, then fear of whale entanglements. Now it’s the classic battle of wholesale price negotiation.
Crab fishermen say buyers are offering $2.35 a pound. Fishermen want $3.50 a pound. This delay couldn’t come at a worst time.
“Christmas is history!” said Spud Point Crab Company owner and boat captain, Tony Anello. “We lost the Thanksgiving market. We lost the Christmas market. We lost a third of our season already. The most lucrative part of the season is behind us so, it’s sad.”
Boats in Bodega Bay and all along the coast are staying put, not going out. KPIX has been told it’s a gentleman’s agreement until the price is settled.
Captain Dick Ogg is one of the veterans. He’s helping keep everyone informed.
“You know, today is set day and you notice that there isn’t’ a soul here. I mean, it’s completely empty. That tells you the confidence that the fishermen have between each other.”
Captain Anello is confident the group will hold together.
“It’s always been that way in Bodega Bay and San Francisco. There have been some violators in the past but, they’re not here anymore,” adding knowingly, ”they know better.”
Wednesday afternoon, one of the principal wholesale buyers, Pacific Seafood issued a statement.
“This year is especially challenging for all parties involved given the significant drop in demand due to restaurant closures and event cancellations” said Rick Harris, Regional General Manager.
Negotiations are not expected to resume until next week.