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Crab Season: First Dungeness Crabs Of 2021 Arrive In San Francisco After Season Delayed

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Crab season has officially started after a two month delay, with the first catch started arriving into Pier 45 in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

Boats have been coming in throughout the night, dropping off containers of the delicacy.

Since there was a delay in the crab season, some were wondering if that would translate to more crustaceans this year but that's not what fishers are seeing.

A vessel known as "Hog Heaven" was the first to arrive at Pier 45 and seeing this catch put a smile on the face of seafood lovers.

Dungeness Crab Season
Dungeness crabs, the first of the season, arrive at Pier 45 in San Francisco, January 13, 2021. (CBS)

James McCoy, a former fisherman, said, "Everybody wants fresh Dungeness crab. Can I get an amen? Nothing like San Francisco Bay."

Crab season was supposed to start on November 15th, but for the second year in a row, the season was delayed to protect the whales.

Fishers hoped in this tough pandemic year they would see an abundance of crab, but the first pull was less than expected.

"I would say this is a third as good as last year," fisherman Thomas Watson told KPIX 5.

While boats are bring in fewer quantities, seafood buyers say they are seeing meatier crabs.

Charlie Lafort with R&R Quality Meats and Seafood said, "The fishermen are saying there aren't a lot of crabs out there so the ones out there are probably eating better."

Lafort drove to San Francisco all the way from Redding on Wednesday. He had been waiting since noon for this shipment to arrive, and his customers have been waiting for weeks.

"We literally had people lining up in the morning and had to say to them, 'Sorry, maybe next week.' So it's been pushed back, week after week after week," Lafort added.

The demand is undoubtedly there but fishers and wholesalers are hoping there will be enough supply to salvage this crab season.

"I know the season was delayed and everybody is having a hard time but the fishermen are having a hard time so please buy some crab," McCoy said. "There's nothing like fresh crab from your own backyard."

There are different theories on why there are fewer crabs. Fishers say crab supplies work on 7-10 year cycles and this may just be a down year.

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