Bay Area 'Christmas Crab' in short supply due to monster waves

ByCarlos Saucedo via KGO logo
Friday, December 21, 2018
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The waves didn't just create dangerous conditions for beachgoers, they also created a dilemma for fish markets right before Christmas crab feasts.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- The large waves off the Northern California coast have amazed beach-goers and surfers alike.

However, the conditions have been too dangerous for fishing boats to go out, creating a dilemma for fish markets ahead of the Christmas crab feasts.

At JP Seafood Company in Alameda, your name better be on the crab list already if you want to take part in the "Christmas Crab" meal tradition.

"We have some crab but for the pre-orders, I can't help walkups," said Joe Pucci of JP Seafood Co.

The crabs that are available at his fish market are for pre-orders only due to the short supply caused by monster waves off the coastline.

"The wind swells, the speed of the sets of the waves, make it impossible to fish," said Pucci.

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No fishing pinches crab availability, which then forces Pucci to raise his prices to keep up with demand.

A large crab is going for $13.99 a pound. That's gone up by more than a dollar since Thanksgiving Day.

"It's one thing we just hope the people on the other side of the counter understand," added Pucci.

That's the question customers have to ask themselves.

"For a special holiday? Yes. We don't eat crab all the time, so this is a special day," said John Brenann of Alameda, who's willing to spend a little more for his crab.

"I'm willing to go get crab anytime to make people happy for their holidays, but it's going to come down to the last minute," said Pucci, who is still taking orders.

Getting your hands on one of his large crabs will depend on this weekend's weather.