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Looking Back: Dungeness Crab
Published: 06/08/2012
Unloading crab at the Samuel Elmore Cannery in Astoria, Oregon.
Unloading crab at the Samuel Elmore Cannery in Astoria, Oregon.
Courtesy of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, OR. CRPA Photograph Coll. 0202a

An enduring coastal delicacy, Dungeness crab has been harvested commercially along the Pacific Coast since the late 1800s. This historic photo, taken in May of 1945, depicts workers unloading crab from the fishing vessel "Thelma" at the Samuel Elmore Cannery in Astoria. Once a US National Historic Landmark, the Elmore Cannery was part of the Columbia River Packers Association in Astoria. Today, the crab harvest is a multi-million dollar industry and the most valuable single species fishery in Oregon. While sustainability is an issue for many seafood species, the Oregon Dungeness crab fishery 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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