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

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.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He was instrumental in the creation of TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years as well as an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.