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Dungeness Crab, from the boat to the box!

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As mentioned in this week's newsletter, here are some additional pictures taken yesterday while I was meeting our boat to get some crab for our shop this week.  The guys had a few (thousand) more than I could use so they unloaded at a processor.  Many thanks to the folks in the pictures for letting me browse a bit with my camera! Step 1 - get some live Dungeness crab!The Lady Virginia Our family owned and operated ocean crab boat, the F/V Lady Virginia works out of Westport, WA from January thru September each year with Jerry, Gabriel, and Jacob Lowe as captain and crew.  Step 2 - unload crab into big blue totes - this is done individually by hand. Step 3 - the crab are hoisted out of the boat and on to the loading dock.  A forklift driver with no regard for human life (I'm serious - they will knock you into the water if you're not out of their way and laugh about it.) will run the tote into the processing facility. Step 4 - the totes are tipped for sorting.  Crab that are missing legs or otherwise unattractive are culled for meat.  Pretty crab are sent to the cooking line, tipped first into warm freshwater to prevent them from dropping legs, then arranged into a cooking basket.
Step 5 - the crab are shuffled through a cooking and cooling system in a basket.      Another picture of the cooked crab basket moving to the cooling/glazing station.



Step 6 - The crab are unloaded from the basket and individually banded, frozen and glazed.


Step 7 - Further down the line they're bagged, boxed and quickly moved to cold storage.  Our crab were apparently moving from the boat to the box in less than an hour and this was the crew working at Ocean Cold in Westport at 11PM on a Tuesday.  Nice work Night Crew!


 Here's a link for some information on Ocean Cold.  They have a freezer facility that is almost unbelievable.   1.8 Million cu ft. of freezer storage - that's a lot of crab!  Sustainable fishing at it's finest. 


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