San Francisco

California's Dungeness Crab Industry Rebounds with Best Season in Years

It appears crabs are back in the bay.

That's the word from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which says we're seeing the best Dungeness season in years.

The state estimates fishermen hauled in more than $67 million in crab along the California coastline this year. That's almost twice the amount of last year's catch.

The Dungeness crab season was cut short in 2016 due to concerns over the damoic acid levels in the catch. Many fishermen spent a year wondering and worrying whether crabbing would bounce back.

Third-generation fisherman Joe Virgo depends on a healthy Dungeness population to make a living.

"I needed it, that's for sure," Virgo said at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. "I've been commercial fishing since I was 15."

People who sell the catch noticed the rebound as well.

"This year the crab was abundant and beautiful, and they were big guys too," said Ted Wilson, owner of Fine and Rare.

State biologists estimate California's Dungeness industry netted more than 21 million pounds of crab so far this year.

Contact Us