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A West Coast crab fishing strike means less dungeness crab at the peak of the season

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Dungeness crab could be harder to come by if hundreds of fishing boats remain tied up at docks from California to Washington state by a dispute between crabbers and seafood processors over the price of the sought-after crustaceans.

Crab fleets that have been fishing in parts of Oregon and near San Francisco are now anchored, and other vessels in Washington state and northern California have opted not to go out, said John Corbin, a commercial crab fisherman in Warrenton, Ore., and chairman of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission.

"We have about 1,200 boats that are tied up and are willing to stay tied up until processors bring the price back to $3 (a pound)" from the latest offer of $2.75, Corbin said Tuesday.

At Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, crab pots remained stacked up along the docks during what typically would be a busy season. From Half Moon Bay, California, to Westport, Washington, crabbers said they would stay put.

The strike has some on Twitter concerned. 

Larry Andre, a commercial crab fisherman in Half Moon Bay, Calif., who had been fishing since November, said he supports the strike.

"We're tying up because they've asked us -- other ports -- to support them," Andre said.

It doesn't sound like much, but a quarter drop in price is a lot when thousands of pounds of crab is involved, he said, adding that the situation is a lot harder on those who have not yet started crabbing.


Strikes have happened before as dungeness crab fishermen and seafood processors haggle over the opening price of the sweet crustacean. It remains unclear what impact it will have on supply.

Tribal fleets in Washington state continue to crab, and crabbing is happening in Puget Sound as well -- so there is some crab on the market.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

People are upset about a shortage of crustaceans in general. 

What's next in online photo hysteria? Demons.

WATCH  | For more, check out the 60 Second Circa.

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