Coast Explorer Magazine - The Explorer's Guide to the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast
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Looking Back: Historical Look at Pacific Coast Crabbing
Published: 02/15/2011
Photo taken May 21, 1946 in Astoria, Oregon by Ned Thorndike.
Photo taken May 21, 1946 in Astoria, Oregon by Ned Thorndike.
courtesy of the Columbia River Maritime Museum

Dungeness crab has been harvested commercially along the Pacific Coast since the late 1800s, an important part of the Pacific Northwest Coast's economy and heritage. This photo depicts a truck load of 19,000 pounds of crab from North Shore at Elmore Cannery in Astoria. Samuel Elmore Cannery, once a US National Historic Landmark was part of the Columbia River Packers Association in Astoria. The crab harvest is still an important part of the Northwest coastal economy, a multi million dollar industry and the most valuable single species fishery in Oregon with an average landing of over 10 million pounds. While sustainability is an issue for many seafood species, the Oregon Dungeness crab fishery is considered sustainable under current regulations and has received the highest sustainability honor from the Marine Stewardship Council, one of only three crab fisheries in the world to receive this distinction.

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