Wildlife Authorities Close Rock Crab Fishery in California
Just few days after warning of dangerous levels of neurotoxin linked with massive algae bloom off west coast, Wildlife authorities have closed the rock crab fishery for most of California. It has been reported that the state Fish and Game Commission voted 3-0 on the Dungeness delay and the rock crab closure. Officials reported that crabbing will start again once the level of toxin will reduce in the West Coast.
In the starting of the week, the Department of Public Health warned people to avoid eating Dungeness and rock crabs taken from the Oregon border to the southern Santa Barbara County line. They refused people to eat rock crabs because they were found contaminated with high levels of domoic acid, known to cause seizures, coma or death. According to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the commercial Dungeness crab take from Washington, Oregon and California has been cyclical, ranging from 8 million to 54 million pounds a year.
Rod Moore, of West Coast Seafood Processors Association, said crab is a popular Thanksgiving and Christmas dish for many families and there are very few chances for it to be served this year. Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said vast algae bloom off the west coast has been the result of unusually warm ocean temperatures by El Nino. According to sources, shellfish, seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales have already been affected by the toxin. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel said the algae bloom this summer season was one of the largest ever observed on the West Coast.
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