Medicine

Commercial crab season for chunks of coast to stay closed

Commercial crab season for chunks of coast to stay closed

CDPH, in conjunction with CDFW, has been actively testing crabs since early September and results from the most recent tests showed that select crabs from the closed areas had elevated levels of domoic acid in their viscera. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean.

Health officials are recommending delays for the commercial Dungeness crab season along a more than 200-mile stretch of Northern California.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the 120-mile fishery between Point Reyes and Humboldt Bay - scheduled to open for commercial crabbing December 1 - will remain closed due to unsafe amounts of domoic acid. Following yesterday's decision, the Humboldt Bay to Point Reyes stretch will remain closed to crabbing.

According to public health officials, domoic acid is risky for humans and animals as well. Hugh Link is with the state's Dungeness Crab Commission.

Closure of the crab season a year ago along the Pacific coast due to domoic acid contamination caused crabbers to lose millions.

"It's been hard on a lot of people", said Rob Kraencke, a crab fisherman.

Health officials also urge people to not use the boiling water for any sauces as a precaution. Officials have delayed the opening of the state's Dungeness Crab Season due to high levels of domoic acid.

In the case of infection, the patients will experience symptoms similar to food poisoning, including headaches, nausea, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, breathing difficulties, disorientation, loss of short-term memory, and coma.

Domoic acid, produced in algae blooms, nearly completely wiped out last year's season and devastated the crab industry in California.