SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon commercial crabbers are enjoying the largest early harvest in at least five years.

In the first two weeks of the season, which started Dec. 1, crabbers landed 12 million pounds of Dungeness crab. By now, they have likely surpassed last year's total harvest of 13 million pounds.

Crabbers credit the catch to good weather, hungry crabs and a season that started on time.

Nick Furman, the executive director of Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, says the strong harvest has been a "huge shot in the arm" to coastal communities.

The crabbing season runs from through mid-August, but crabbers catch as much as 80 percent of the annual harvest in the first eight weeks.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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