Crab, Dungeness

There are more than 6,700 species in the scientific order of crab. Dungeness, with its sweet and tender flesh, is the star of the family. It is found on the West Coast and is named for the Port of Dungeness, Washington, the site of this region?s first commercial fishery. Like lobsters, crabs have a hard exterior shell, but they have much shorter tails and lack prominent front claws. Crabs are cheaper than lobster and have a sweeter taste, but they are just as savory when boiled or steamed and served with butter.

Dungeness crabs are caught via traps, a method considered sustainable, as fishermen can release undersized crabs and other bycatch when collecting the crabs. Crabs caught in California, Oregon, and Washington waters are strictly regulated, with rules governing which crabs that can be caught according to size, sex, and season. The Alaskan fishery, on the other hand, is less well managed, and Dungeness crab populations there are more susceptible to overfishing and collapse. Crab sourced from California is usually in season at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market November through June.