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seafood encyclopedia

Dungeness Crab


  • Scientific Name: Metacarcinus magister
  • US Market Name(s): Dungeness Crab
  • Canada Market Name(s): Dungeness Crab

Culinary Profile

Dungeness Crab has a sweet and mild taste. The body meat is tender - while the leg meat is slightly firmer. When cooked - the shell of Dungeness Crab turns bright orange.


Similar to other Crab species - Dungeness Crab have four pairs of legs, a set of claws and they periodically “molt” their shell to grow. Molting is a process whereby the Crab produces a new shell underneath their old one. Dungeness Crab can be easily distinguished from other species by the colour of their shell - light, reddish-brown on the back with a purplish blotch towards the front. The underside is coloured white to light orange. Most Dungeness Crab weigh between 1.5 – 3 pounds.


Dungeness Crab are a crustacean species found in eelgrass beds and on shallow sandy bottoms. Dungeness Crab are native to the Pacific Northwest - ranging from Mexico to the Aleutian Islands.

Fishing Season

Sustainability Status

Dungeness Crab populations are fully exploited - but are not considered overfished due to effective management of US and Canadian fisheries. Dungeness Crab caught in the US and Canada are considered a “best choice” by various reputable environmental organizations.

Fishy Fact: The name “Dungeness” is derived from a fishing port on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.


Available as Value Added, Commodity, Custom Packing.