Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Still no Crab

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 4:22 PM

click to enlarge The crab, the state says, are still not ready. - C. JUHASZ/CDFW WEBSITE
  • C. Juhasz/CDFW website
  • The crab, the state says, are still not ready.
Another round of testing shows that local Dungeness crab are still not filled out enough, prompting a second delay for the commercial season in Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that the opener has been pushed back to Dec. 31 and may not end up starting until after New Year’s, depending results from another set of quality tests scheduled for next week.

“Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 22,” the release states. “If quality remains low, an additional delay until Jan. 15, 2018 will be issued by the director. This date is the latest the season can be delayed due to quality testing.”

Read the full release from the California Department of Fish and Wildllife below:

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced an additional 15-day delay for the upcoming commercial Dungeness crab season, based on the results of another round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 5. The tests continued to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting.

The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, 2017, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017.

Crab quality tests are conducted regularly to ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting. Tests follow guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee, which is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 22. If quality remains low, an additional delay until Jan. 15, 2018 will be issued by the director. This date is the latest the season can be delayed due to quality testing.

No vessel may take or land crab within Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 during the closure period. In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside of Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas as outline in California's Fair Start Provision (Fish and Game Code, section 8279.1).

The director's memo can be found here.

The updated Frequently Asked Questions for the current 2017-18 season addresses questions regarding the Fair Start provision.

For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Health-Advisories.

For more information about Dungeness crab fisheries in California, please visit
www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.



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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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