Oregon's ocean commercial Dungeness crab season remains closed

Dec. 7—The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season remains closed as round two of pre-season testing shows crabs remain too low in meat yield in some areas.

Elevated domoic acid is still detected in some crab viscera (guts), according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Agriculture Department.

Round three of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks. Results help determine if the season opens Dec. 31 or is further delayed or split into areas with different opening dates.

Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon's ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted.

Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates. California and Washington also are delaying their commercial seasons until at least Dec. 31. Tri-state crab quality testing protocol is available online.

ODFW tests crabs out of Oregon's six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.

Commercial Dungeness crab is one of Oregon's most iconic and valuable fisheries, contributing millions to our coastal communities. The commercial ocean Dungeness crab fishery opening has been delayed the past six seasons due to either low meat yield or domoic acid levels above the threshold for safe consumption.

Although the season was delayed in stages in 2021 (harvest opened Dec. 16 south of Cape Falcon and Feb. 15, 2021 north of Cape Falcon), fishermen still brought in 12.2 million pounds of Dungeness crab coastwide with an ex-vessel value of $60.6 million dollars.