California delays commercial crabbing season for Dungeness

California delays commercial crabbing season for Dungeness

A toxin from algae blooms prompted California wildlife officials to indefinitely delay the commercial crabbing season for Dungeness along a 120-mile-stretch of northern coast of the state.

Commercial crabbing for Dungeness, which is a tradition on holiday tables for many people in this part of the nation, was scheduled to start by Dec. 1, 2016. Following yesterday’s decision, the Humboldt Bay to Point Reyes stretch will remain closed to crabbing.

The culprit is domoic acid, and nearly half of Dungeness sampled in the area has tested positive for greater-than-limit for the toxin. The acid in question stems from algae blooms and it can cause issues similar to food poisoning and disorientation.

It is the second year in a row that the toxin from algae blooms has hit the Golden State’s West Coast crabbing industry.

Earlier this week, Oregon wildlife officials closed crabbing for a stretch of coast north of the border of California because of the same risk.

Earlier, California health officials had issued a recommendation that recreational crabbers should avoid consuming the guts of Dungeness or drinking crab broth to minimize exposure to the dangerous toxin.


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