Crab sit inside a vendor booth outside Alioto’s Restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Crab sit inside a vendor booth outside Alioto’s Restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Risk of fishing gear endangering marine life pushes back dungeness crab season

The possible risk of whales and sea turtles getting entangled in fishing gear will push back Dungeness crab season by a week, California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery south of the Mendocino/Sonoma County line was set to open next week on Nov. 15 but due to the risk to marine life, it’s been pushed back to Nov. 22.

CDFW officials said all throughout crab season, CDFW will work with the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to review scientific information and ways to minimize the risk of entanglement. Future assessments of risk could result in similar action.

Delays to this crab season because of domoic acid, which has caused delays in past years, could also be possible, CDFW officials said.

Although this season’s start date has been pushed back, fishers can begin setting traps in advance of the opening date. A pre-soak period starts at 6 a.m. on Nov. 21, fish and wildlife officials said.

More information about crab season can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

By Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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