Dungeness Crab Season Delay Spoils Christmas

Dungeness Crab Season Delay Spoils Christmas

The Dungeness crab season in California will be postponed, ruling out any Dungeness crab for Christmas. This delay in the availability of the regional delicacy has spoiled the festival for a lot of people in the Bay Area. It will also adversely affect the financials of several fishermen, wholesalers and restaurant owners, along with the businesses associated with this particular season.

The season is now likely to commence in January 2016. The delay has been attributed to high levels of domoic acid in crabs, which can result in gastrointestinal illness and in extreme cases can also result in death. The crabs were tested this month from Crescent City to Monterey. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin that microscopic algae produce. The chemical's levels in the North and Central coasts' fishing areas have not reached federal safety limits.

The increase in biotoxin's level to unsafe limit has happened due to increase in the number of harmful algal that reproduced along the Pacific Coast. The largest ever observed increase was a result of highest ever recorded warm temperatures in the ocean.

This particular season in the crab industry in California had raised almost $67 million in 2014. But, this year the delay will have far reaching economic impact on several other related industries and people.

Phil DiGirolamo, owner of Phil's Fish Market, has bought in some live crab recently and is expecting more supply from Washington as fishing in these areas has opened.

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