Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, Oct. 3 @ 5:06 p.m. / Local Government, Ocean
Compared to Eureka, Crab Is King In Crescent City; So Is Shrimp, Salmon and Hagfish
Just in case you wondered, Crescent City, you were crabbier and shrimpier than Eureka last year.
Citing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Harbormaster Charlie Helms told commissioners Tuesday that more Dungeness crab and pink shrimp were brought into Crescent City than Eureka last year.
Not only did the amount of crab and shrimp brought into Crescent City outpace what entered Eureka last year, so did the total poundage and value of hagfish and chinook salmon, according to CDFW.
“The value of Dungeness crab and shrimp up here is really critical,” Helms told commissioners.
Nearly 7.8 million pounds of Dungeness crab at a value of about $23.6 million entered Crescent City last year, according to Fish and Wildlife. Fishermen brought in 3.6 million pounds of crab at a total value of about $10.9 million in 2018, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The commercial fleet brought 4.166 million pounds of pink shrimp into Crescent City for a total value of $2.9 million, according to CDFW. In Eureka, fishermen brought in 785,893 pounds of pink shrimp for a total value of $551,652.
According to CDFW, 206,539 pounds of hagfish, at a value of $165,231, were brought to Crescent City compared to 30,766 pounds at a value of $24,613 that was taken into Eureka. As for chinook, 42,119 pounds at a value of $354,141 was brought into Crescent City, while 36,509 at a value of $294,860 was brought into Crescent City.
Meanwhile, the amount of albacore brought into Eureka was slightly higher than that brought into Crescent City at 118,585 pounds for a value of $194,648. Fishermen brought 103,034 pounds of albacore into Crescent City for a value of $139,823.
More lingcod, 324,800 pounds worth $321,712, was also brought into Eureka than into Crescent City. According to CDFW, 17,498 pounds of lingcod was landed at Crescent City fo ra value of $43,535.
Every pound of seafood brought into the Crescent City Harbor translates into revenue for the port, though it varies. According to the harbor’s landing fee schedule, the port receives $0.02 for every pound of crab brought into Citizens Dock. Deputy Harbormaster Lane Tavasci said this is about $45 per ton.
The Crescent City Harbor receives $0.0025 for every pound of pink fish brought across its docks. The harbor gets $0.03 per pound for salmon; $0.009 per pound for tuna; and 0.004 per pound for hagfish, according to its fee schedule.
On Tuesday, Helm’s report prompted Commissioner Wes White to comment on the lack of seafood processing in Crescent City.
“It’s interesting to me that we are so much higher in dollar value and poundage than Eureka is and yet all the processing is Eureka,” he said. “I don’t know if anything can be done about it. It’s been that way for years.”
His colleague on the harbor commission, Carol White, noted that the poundage of lingcod was one of the only things Eureka had more of than Crescent City.
Helms said he is attending a seafood summit in Portland, much of which will focus on processing and trying to increase the community’s share of the market.