SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco may soon allow people to buy live, whole Dungeness crab directly from boats at Fisherman’s W harf, under a proposal by the Port of San Francisco.

The proposal would be an expansion of a current program that allows retail fish sales from commercial fishing vessels at Fisherman’s Wharf Harbor. In 2017, the Port of San Francisco began the direct sales of whole, gutted fish from fishermen, comparing the program to a farmers’ market for fish.

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Crab was excluded from the original program to avoid competition with existing crab stands in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. However, the COVID pandemic forced crab stands to close and while one or two stands have since returned, the expansion of the program would not included cooked crab.

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The proposal will be presented to the Port Commission on Tuesday, with a vote scheduled two weeks after. If approved, fishermen will be able to sell live crab from their boats immediately.

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The expansion of the retail fish sale program is expected to help San Francisco’s fishing industry to recover from the COVID
pandemic and departure of tourists from Fisherman’s Wharf as well as from the effects of the massive Pier 45 fire in May 2020 that destroyed thousands of fishermans’ crab traps and other fishing gear stored inside.