MENDOCINO Co., 12/20/19 — Commercial Dungeness crab season will open on Dec. 31, preceeded by a 64 hour gear setting period. The fishery had been closed due to domoic acid being detected, but a new test conducted recently has given crabbers the green-light starting New Year’s Even.
And in other news concerning creatures with shells that live in the sea, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has lifted the safety warning concerning “sport-harvested mussels, whole scallops, and clams.” A warning had been in place due to the danger of domoic acid, which can cause significant illness. Some warning remain in place for shellfish from Humboldt and Del Norte counties, scroll down (click here) for the full notice concerning these delicious animals.
Here are the details about the crab season:
The commercial Dungeness crab season in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties is scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2019.
Delays due to quality only affect the Dungeness crab fishery in this area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). Dungeness crab quality test results from Dec. 17, 2019 met the minimum guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee. Director Charlton H. Bonham had announced a delay to Dec. 31 based on the last round of tests conducted on Dec. 3, 2019, but with these new results no additional delay is warranted. Tri-State managers met this morning to determine that their respective Dungeness crab fisheries would open coastwide within the Tri-State region on Dec. 31, 2019.
No vessel may take or land crab in an area closed for a meat quality delay (i.e., Fish and Game districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 through Dec. 30). In addition, any vessel that takes, possesses onboard or lands crab from ocean waters outside of a delayed area is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in any delayed area for 30 days following the opening of those areas. Permitted vessels that have already participated in the Dec. 15 opener south of the Sonoma-Mendocino county line would not be able to set gear in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties until 12:01 am Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. This applies to any delayed areas in Oregon and Washington as well. For more information, please see CDFW’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2019-2020 Dungeness crab commercial season.
To help minimize the risk of whale and sea turtle entanglement in trap gear, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends implementation of Best Fishing Practices developed by the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group. This includes following guidance on surface-gear set-up, reducing excess line, using neutral buoyancy line and minimizing knots and lead.
For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit:California Department of Fish and Wildlife
www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Whale-Safe-Fisheries and www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.
CDPH Lifts Warnings about Shellfish from Mendocino County
Date: December 20, 2019
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has lifted the shellfish safety notification today related to sport-harvested mussels, whole scallops, and clams in Mendocino County. The safety notification was issued due to dangerous levels of naturally occurring domoic acid, also referred to as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), that can cause illness or death in humans. Recent testing shows concentrations of domoic acid are now at safe or undetectable levels for bivalve shellfish other than razor clams.
The warnings against eating sport-harvested razor clams in Del Norte and Humboldt counties remain in effect, due to continued elevated levels of domoic acid.
These warnings do not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.
Symptoms of ASP can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death. No cases of human ASP from domoic acid are known to have occurred in California.
You can get the most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines by calling CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page.California Department of Public Health