San Francisco crab fisherman continue West Coast strike

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
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Crab season in the Bay Area has come to a screeching halt after fisherman vow to stay docked in solidarity with the massive West Coast strike continuing over a price dispute.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Crab season in the Bay Area is on hold. San Francisco fishermen vow to stay docked while a large West Coast strike continues over a price dispute.

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The Crab Boat Owners Association said, "Everyone is in solidarity and staying tied up," after phone meetings Monday morning with other crab fishermen up and down the coast.

The strike began in Humbolt County last Wednesday after a large buyer, Pacific Choice, tried to renegotiate the price per pound from $3.00 to $2.75.

"The holidays are over and some of the bigger buyers think they have to go into the freezer with it and so they want to get it for less," said Larry Collins of the Crab Boat Owners Association.

Pacific Choice did not return ABC7 News' request for a statement.

Even though San Francisco fishermen are still getting $3.00. They will stay idle while the strike continues.

J.T. Bednarek is a retired United Auto Workers Union member visiting from Detroit. He refused to boy any crab Monday. "Even though we're cross country and there is a difference between autos and crabs, but still, it's the brotherhood of the union," he said.

Tim Cepp of Marin County thinks tourists at Fisherman's Wharf will see a spike in the price. "Some people coming from out of state, out of the country, only have a couple of days, they might pay a lot," he said.

When asked if he believes the price will go up Cepp said, "I think it's going to go up until they get rid of what they have."

Antonelli's Meat Fish and Poultry ran out before New Year's Eve.

"We had enough to cover order but on the 31st people came in and there was nothing, so that hurts," said Dominic Antonelli.

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He hopes the dispute will end soon. Crab season is meant to continue through June 30.