What a Dungeness Crab Offload Looks Like
The Dungeness Crab fishery is in full swing off of the Washington Coast. Commercial Fishermen and Women are out for days hauling their pots and hoping for big harvests of Dungeness Crab. When the Dungeness Crab are caught they are put into the “Hold” of the fishing boat. This hold is full of water and meant to keep the crab alive. As the fisherman catch more and more crab they begin to fill their hold. Ultimately once the hold is full or the crab and the fisherman must come in for an offload. Many times fisherman also have to come in and offload even if their hold isn’t full. This is because you can only keep your crab alive in the hold for so long. If the crab die inside the hold you cannot sell those crab and they become a complete waste. Once the fisherman come in an offload begins! An offload is simply the process of removing the Dungeness Crab from the hold. In order to do this all of the water from the hold is removed. Now you are left with a hold full of crab. The timer now begins. If crab are left out of water for to long they will die. An offload crew goes down into the hold and begins loading the crab into big totes. This is a very labor intensive process as each crab is picked up and put into the tote. Our video below shows you the offload process! Once the offload is complete the crab are brought into the processing plant to be cooked and packaged for the dinner table!