« Back to Home Page

Sign up for the 3p daily dispatch:

Crab Industry Does the Right Thing Only to be Cut Off at the Pass

| Wednesday November 21st, 2007 | 0 Comments

crab.jpgA wild and fascinating story of the good and bad of business in the same place is unfolding in Northern California as we speak. In the wake of the major fuel spill in San Francisco Bay, the association of local dungeness crab fishermen voluntarily agreed to postpone this years crab harvest until crabs in the waters near San Francisco had been tested and deemed safe to eat. “The consensus was that one sick consumer could ruin the entire crab season, which began Thursday.” It was a highly unusual move for an industry to make and deserves attention and applause.
Unfortunately, quite literally in the middle of the night, two crews from Oregon swept into the waters and caught more than 100,000 lbs of crabs and immediately off-loaded them in Monterey, where less sympathetic dock workers happily unloaded the potentially tainted cargo to a handful of wholesalers who had not pledged to avoid the catch. The crabs are now, apparently, finding their way into the market.
The good news is the attention that the story is getting, and I’m happy to give it some more. If you’re in the bay area, you’d be advised to avoid crabs in the coming weeks, partly because they might be unsafe, but more importantly as a matter of principal to support the courage and forward thinking of a group of business people who have forgone immediate profits for longer term gain.
The whole thing will likely play out in the courts. On the one hand this serves as a reality check that while all may seem rosy, scoundrels may still lurk. But it also serves as a great example of what’s possible when business commits to doing the right thing. Read the whole story on today’s SFGate.


Newsletter Signup