Crabbers go on strike over price dispute

Crab boats came slowly back to San Francisco Bay Friday evening possibly for the last time and it wasn't clear when they would head back out with fisherman on strike.

One local fisherman and buyer declined to use his name but told KTVU Fox 2 news " “Well it’s not exactly a strike were just tying up until the price is right for the guys to go fishing up north".

The strike started on Wednesday but was extended to Friday when Pacific Choice Seafoods, a Wholesaler in Humbolt County,California, offered to pay 2.75 a pound for crab instead of three dollars.

The price of 2.75 was negotiated in November when the dungeness crab season opened.

Prices weren't set on the West Coast because the season opened in waves, when high levels of domoic acid made the crab unsafe to eat.

Negotiations have been salty and fisherman have drawn a line in the water," We have to make 3 bucks a pound that’s what it takes to run a boat and pay the crews and the insurance and pay the fuel and the bait and everything else if we don’t get that we might as well tie up”, said one man at Fisherman's Wharf.

Meanwhile with the boats tied up restaurant owners like Don Mcfarland who runs Sabella and La Torre on Fisherman's Wharf said, “I feel bad for our local fisherman this is a very busy week for us we usually order 5 to 600 pounds a day coming on Monday when new years is over we’ll probably order 50 so were losing out on a lot of money”.

In San Francisco crabbers make more than three dollars a pound but decided to join the strike in solidarity with fisherman from Bodega Bay, Oregon and all the way up to the Canadian border.

It's unclear when the price dispute will be resolved leaving Don Mcfarland of Sabella and La Torre saying ,"It's their right to strike for more money , it costs money to run a boat , but it's a bad week for them to go on strike."

The West Coast strike could leave customers with limited choices.