Traceable Species

Dungeness Crab

Dungies, Market Crab

Dungeness Crab

Adult crabs can live up to 10 years, with females reaching reproductive maturity around two to three years of age. Once mature, female crabs molt (shed their shell) between May and August. Mating then occurs immediately after molting and before the new exoskeleton hardens. In October or November, eggs are fully developed and are extruded and fertilized. Eggs then remain attached to the female’s abdomen until hatching in late winter. Female crabs often bury themselves in sand as the eggs develop. The larval phase lasts about four months in various stages of growth until eventually, from May to September, the larvae morph into juvenile crabs. Juvenile crabs remain in lower intertidal or shallow sub-tidal waters over winter. At one year old, they begin the progressive move towards deeper water. Adult crabs weigh between 1.5 to three pounds (0.7 to 1.4 kg).

Dungeness Crab

Food Info Dungeness Crab


  • Colour: opaque white crabmeat and bright red shell when cooked
  • Texture: tender and delicately textured with the leg meat slightly firmer.
  • Flavour: The meat of the Dungeness crab is sweet, mild and might even present a slightly nutty taste.
  • Perfect serve: The simplest serve—boiled in salted water and served straight from the shell with melted butter and bread warm from the oven—cannot be beaten. You can also switch the salted water with a flavourful, but not too heavy, microbrewery beer, for a fragrant twist. Crab cakes, seasoned simply with onions, garlic, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper, are also a treat.
Species Range
Dungeness Crab range Source:
Market Crab
Californian Dungeness Crab by Trap Dec 09 - Jun 30
Dec 01 - Jul 15
Crab Area A - Haida Gwaii / Hecate Straits Jan 01 - Dec 01
Crab Area B - North Coast Jan 01 - Dec 31
Crab Area E - West Coast of Vancouver Island Jan 01 - Dec 31
Crab Area G - Johnstone Strait Jan 01 - Dec 31
Crab Area H - Strait of Georgia Jan 01 - Dec 31

An icon of the Pacific coast, this crab is prolific from the Aleutian Islands to southern California. Dungeness crabs have a hard-shelled, oval-shaped carapace, a pair of large claws and four legs. These bottom dwellers start life as larvae and develop by regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one. During this molting period, crabs hide in rocky, creviced habitat.

Live Dungeness crabs usually have a light green or purplish brown shell with a serrated edge that turns red when cooked. The size, colour and flavour of Dungeness vary depending on the season, local habitat, feed and other ecological factors. Just as terroir gives wine its distinct character, the natural marine environment—or “meroir”—of a region imparts unique qualities to local crab.

Fishing Methods

{'fisheries': [<License: Californian Dungeness Crab by Trap>, <License: Crab Area A - Haida Gwaii / Hecate Straits>, <License: Crab Area B - North Coast>, <License: Crab Area E - West Coast of Vancouver Island>, <License: Crab Area G - Johnstone Strait>, <License: Crab Area H - Strait of Georgia>], 'gear': <Gear: Crab Trap>}

Crab Trap

This fishery uses wire traps submerged on the seafloor to catch Dungeness crab. Traps are attached to lines and marked by floats on the surface. The traps attract crab with bait and capture them live.


Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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