Dungeness catch is off; Ore. crabbers are dismayed

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COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) -- If you're a fan of Dungeness crab, you might want to get out your mallets or shell-cracking gizmos right about now.

The season off the Oregon coast began at midmonth, and the catch is now expected to be off markedly from those of the last two years -- both good years.

That could mean tighter supplies and higher prices after the holidays.

Oregon crabbers negotiated with processors for a locked-in price during the early part of the season. They've had good fishing weather and tell The World newspaper in Coos Bay (http://bit.ly/usXsAw) that they've probably hauled in much of the catch that's reached legal size.

So, the paper reports, the crabbers are worried there will be few crab left after the locked-in price expires in early January.

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Information from: The World, http://www.theworldlink.com