Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: More testimony on Ohio's "anti-protest" bill; and we'll take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

Daily Newscasts

Oregon Dungeness Crabbers Join West Coast Strike

Crab fishermen on the West Coast are on strike because of a price drop for Dungeness crab. (J. Newman/California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
Crab fishermen on the West Coast are on strike because of a price drop for Dungeness crab. (J. Newman/California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
January 5, 2017

WARRENTON, Ore. -- Dungeness crab dinners could be hard to come by in Oregon and along the West Coast because of a dispute over the price crabbers get for their catch.

Fleets from Central California to the Canadian border are refusing to fish as the crabbing season opens along the coast. The strike is due to a price drop before Christmas, when Pacific Seafood began offering $2.75 per pound instead of $3.

John Corbin, an Oregon fisherman and chairman of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, said crabbing is expensive, especially with the substantial amount of bait that is used.

"They're getting us on both ends here,” Corbin said. "They're charging us more for bait and they're wanting to pay less for the crabs. So, it's just cutting into the bottom line, and we just can't do that."

According to Corbin, Oregon state officials have been mediating negotiations with the seafood company. Pacific Seafood has said it is just one of many buyers on the West Coast, and it doesn't set the price alone.

Corbin said commercial crabbers would much rather be fishing, but the price drop could set a precedent they can't afford, especially with recent increases in fuel prices. He said the strike affects a lot of families.

"We've got about 1,200 boats, that's 4,000 to 5,000 fishing families that are unemployed right now,” Corbin said. "The processors don't have crab for their workers to process, so there's processing families that are unemployed. There's a lot of people affected by this."

On Wednesday, crabbing opened on Washington state's coast, but no crabbing vessels set out. The Quinault Indian Nation has also joined commercial crabbers in the strike.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR