It is Dungeness Crab season. I can buy them at the Ferry Building for $5.99 per pound or on Clement Street for $3.69. Hum. While the Ferry Building gets all the hype the hot buys are elsewhere.
Here in the epicenter of the local food movement there's one area where almost nobody sticks to their locavore ideals: If you want to serve fish, it pretty much has to be imported. With the collapse of the commercial salmon and herring fisheries and the shortage of petrale, Dungeness crab is the only local seafood still readily available. And that's just barely hanging on. "The confluence of expanding global markets and more assertive local controls has produced dramatic change. One fishery after another petered out in the wild, and regulators curtailed fishing to preserve species," Katherine Ellison wrote in the New York Times today. On the plus side, Tomales Bay oysters seem to be doing fine, and those wild Dungeness are proving hard to decimate. When they go, we might as well pack it up and move to Oklahoma. At least the rents are cheap.