Timmy, There Is No Dungeness

There’s a weekend in mid-December, not any particular one, but usually before the big holiday whirlwind, that always makes us giddy. It’s the day, about a month into crab season, that the Dungeness catch has been coming in so strong that places like Koreana Plaza and Sun Fat have to sell the crabs really cheap to make room in their tanks.

That’s the day we boil several gallons of water, whip up some chowder and instruct friends to show up with bottles of beer and grubby clothing to spend an evening getting elbow-deep in the local Dungeness catch.

Well, it looks like that evening event won’t be happening this year. Thanks very much, Cosco Busan. On Saturday, the commercial crabbers voted to postpone the season indefinitely. From the Chronicle:

“If there’s even the slightest taint of fuel either on the crab or in the holding tanks, we won’t touch it because we won’t be able to sell it,” said seafood processor Angel Cincotta, who along with her mother and sisters runs the Alioto-Lazio Fish and Crab Co. on Jefferson Street at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. “The customer will not buy it and we wouldn’t expect them to.”

The Crab Boat Owners Association voted to postpone the start of the commercial season, and is asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to extend the restriction to sport fishers and out-of-towners as well, the Chronicle reported, but some sport fishers aren’t taking it so well. In the comments following the story, somebody identified as Captjohnsmith, who would appear to be a sport fishing captain, wrote:

The commercial crabbers have a problem because they need to circulate sea water in their holds to keep the crabs alive after they have caught them at sea. Since they must navigate into the bay to get to their docks, they may go through the oil spill, which could cause contamination of the crabs in their holds. There is NO WAY that crabs at the crabbing grounds will get even an infinitesimal exposure to the oil from this spill. The only reason they don’t the sports crabbers to keep crabbing is that they compete for the same resource– so it’s all about money and greed.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coastguard has apparently opened a criminal probe into the crash Wednesday of the Cosco Busan into a Bay Bridge piling.

After the Coast Guard apparently sat around on their thumbs for about 12 hours after the crash, reporting that just 140 gallons of oil had spilled instead of the 58,000 that ended up in the water, we’re wondering who will be investigating that organization.

On an unrelated note: Anybody want to buy 12 pounds of butter and a large steel pot?

Spill’s widespread impact [San Francisco Chronicle]
Criminal probe opens in Calif. oil spill [Associated Press]
Feinstein blasts response to oil spill


Timmy, There Is No Dungeness