“The cruelest winter that most Bay Area fishermen have ever seen is finally coming to an end: California health officials lifted a health advisory late Thursday for Dungeness crab on the Central Coast, clearing the way for the recreational crab season to begin,” the San Jose Mercury News is reporting.
“Tests by the Department of Public Health show levels of domoic acid, a potent biotoxin, have declined to safe levels in crab south of Point Reyes. Sport fishermen throughout the region may begin dropping their pots immediately, and the commercial crab season is poised to begin in as little as a week.
“Tom Mattusch, who operates a San Mateo County charter fishing operation, said Pillar Point Harbor will be a madhouse Friday as fishermen ready their traps and boats next to the staging area for the Titans of Mavericks big-wave surfing contest.
“‘It’s comical,’ said Mattusch, who will be ferrying paid customers out to the surf break Friday to see the competitors up close. ‘This harbor is chaotic right now getting ready for Mavericks, and now another piece of good news. Unbelievable.’
“Massive blooms of algae last year along the California coast, spurred by record warm temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, led to widespread domoic-acid contamination of crab and forced an unprecedented delay to the recreational and commercial fishing seasons, which normally begin in November. Fishermen, restaurants and distributors have seen big financial losses.”
The rest of the article is here.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife press release is here.