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Brookings Leads In OR Dungeness Landings
As commercial crab fishermen along the Oregon Coast bring their pots in to the dock, signifying the end of the commercial Dungeness crab season, reports from the Department of Fish & Wildlife verify that the 2012/13 harvest ranks 6th in the last 15 years. Preliminary numbers show landings in excess of 18.1 million pounds for the season, which officially ended on August 14th. The record stands at 33.7 million pounds.
In the most recent 10-year period, Oregon Dungeness crab landings have averaged 20.3 million lbs annually. This year, the southern port of Brookings had the highest catch numbers with landings exceeding 4.8 million pounds, followed closely by Newport with 4.2 million pounds. The Oregon Dungeness crab fishery remains the most valuable single specie fishery in the state.
Although crab fishermen have two weeks to bring their remaining pots in to port, where they will be stored until the whole process starts again in late November, no commercial crab are caught during this period. Oregon law requires that pots left in the ocean at the end of the season must be un-baited and have the lids open so crabs can enter and exit at will. The season remains closed until December 1st so that crabs can ‘fatten up’ after the mid-summer molting process, undisturbed.