It seems that despite an initial delay in the season for Dungeness crabbing on the west coasts in states like California and Oregon, locals as well as crab fishing enthusiasts around the country will be able to enjoy their fresh crabs after all, which is a staple food during the holidays.
Agriculture and state fishery regulators from the Oregon have recently announced that the season of Dungeness crabbing is set to reopen on December 18th thanks to the opening a part of the coast. The designated part of the coast open to crab fishing will start from the Cape Bianco south down to the border with California.
Additionally, the recreational bay and the ocean crab fishery from Tillamook Head south to Cape Lookout will also open next Sunday. Crab fishing enthusiasts will also be able to indulge in their hobby in part of the coast from Tillamook Head north up to Columbia River. The main part of the coast which remains closed is from Cape Lookout south to Cape Bianco, where officials have still recorded high levels of domoic acid caused by algae.
Caren Braby, the marine resources program manager from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has reiterated the need for a precautionary approach regarding the recent problems faced by the Dungeness crabbing season. The department’s recent tests showed consistent low toxin levels in the southern coastal waters of the state as well as in a few ports in the northern region. As such, officials decided that the crabs living in these waters are safe for consumption and thus ready for harvest.
Braby also expressed optimism regarding the possibility of opening the remaining regions of the coast for recreational Dungeness crabbing after the toxin will clear. Until then, state officials will be hard at work monitoring the regions’ levels of domoic acid. Their results will be made public as soon as they are available.
The initial date for the opening of the Dungeness crabbing season was delayed across large areas of the coast in both California and Oregon after officials detected high concentrations of domoic acid caused by an increase in the algae which produce the dangerous toxin, which can accumulate in the nearby crabs.
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