LIVE SEAFOOD COMES HOME TO WASHINGTON
Dungeness crab, named after the sandy spit on the Olympic Peninsula’s northern coast, makes its home along the shores of California north to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
In Washington state, the season runs from Dec. 1 to Sept. 15, leaving the fall free for molting — when the crabs shed their shells to grow into bigger ones. According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, harvests of mature male crabs — catching females is prohibited — fluctuate based on oceanic conditions, peaking around 25 million pounds from 228 licensed fisheries, including many tribal-owned.
It’s a $60 million industry ($170 million in the broader Pacific Northwest, according to a 2014 report by the Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission) but the live slice of it has largely left for international consumption, predominantly to China. The Chinese revere the Dungeness, the Fathom crew said, in part for its flavor and for its year-round availability. The season for native species, such as the hairy crab (also known as a Chinese mitten crab) and flower crab (a Singaporean specialty), is short and unstable, according to Wei. They’re also difficult to crack and aren’t nearly as dense.
Read the entire article over at The News Tribune.
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