Program aims to compensate local crabbers

Local crabbers whose markets collapsed during Thanksgiving can apply for $5,000 to $10,000 in compensation from insurers of the Cosco Busan, attorneys of the approximately 70 crabbers announced Monday.

Many seafood lovers stopped buying local seafood while they waited for government tests to show that local crustaceans and fish were safe to eat in the wake of the Nov. 7 spill of 58,000 gallons of fuel into the Bay.

The California Department of Fish and Game declared local crabs and fish safe to eat on Nov. 29 — a week after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the best-selling time of the year for crabs in San Francisco, according to Larry Collins, president of San Francisco’s Crab Boat Owners Association.

Crabbers will need to provide a copy of their boat license, their crabbing permit, and “evidence of their historical catch” when they apply compensation.

“It’s a lot of paperwork,” Collins said. “Fishermen are better at fishing than they are at paperwork.”

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