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Peninsula Crabber's Business Stays Afloat Thanks to Community Support

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When Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, fishermen who sold catch from their boats were left with no buyers. 

But at least one fisherman is finding a new way to do business thanks to some community support and some wheels.

Lucas Kinley is happy to still be selling his crabs, and customers are happy to buy them. These days, Kinley's sales include delivery — something he hasn’t done in 15 years as a fisherman.

His boat is docked at Pillar Point, which was closed to the public last weekend. He had an open sea but not an open market.

“We almost kind of thought about ending the season, you know, just kind of going home after that one," he said.

Kinley told friends about his dilemma. As word spread, he had more orders than he could handle.

“It was definitely overwhelming at first” he said. “I was not expecting that kind of support I guess. Yeah, it was great to see.”

In order to deliver, Kinley had to rig up a truck and learn the rules to be in compliance with new health guidelines. For example, he can’t just set up anywhere. Some customers pre-order and meet him in a parking lot. Usually he goes directly to homes.

“It’s also part of what we as people who live here have to live on,” Cheri Parr of Montara said. “We have very limited supplies here on the coast of food."

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Frank Hampton of Sunnyvale said the process is “convenient” and “clean.”

“We’re all going by the rules: six feet, hand sanitizers,” he said.

Kinley said some other fishermen are now considering putting their business on wheels. But in terms of crab, he has the head start.

“It’s nice to be able to kind of finish the season off on a little better note than we thought we were gonna,” he said. “This kind of helps us get through the rest of the year.”

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