California opens commercial fishing – NBC Bay Area


There will be more Dungeness Crab on the market just in time for New Years menus.

The long-delayed commercial crab fishing season in coastal areas near San Francisco kicked off on Wednesday. The zones were the last part of the California coast that was closed to fishing gear.

The California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s ruling applies to waters off Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, where the commercial Dungeness crab season traditionally begins on November 15. But since 2015, all but one commercial season has been delayed either because of the existence of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin that contaminates shellfish, detected in crabs or at dangerous whale fishing line. .

Crab season may be delayed when 20 whales are sighted, based on a legal deal with the Center for Biological Diversity, which has sued the increase in whale and sea turtle entanglements in fishing gear Californians.

The latest surveys have revealed that the majority of whales have now left the region and are heading to winter breeding areas in Mexico and Central America.

“Based on the data collected during the last risk assessment, the director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) determined that the risk of entanglement had decreased and it was time to provide fishing opportunities. in all fishing areas, “officials said in a statement. declaration.

Dungeness crab already has a limited presence in stores and restaurants in the Bay Area since the commercial fishery began on December 1 in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. More crab is expected with the season opener this week for Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.


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