State of the CA Crab Fishery: Domoic Acid Levels, ’16 Harvest & New Rules In Place

Fisheries and ocean experts will discuss impacts of historic crab season delay and Domoic acid disaster

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will convene a special hearing on August 10 at the State Capitol to receive a progress report on the 2015-16 crab season, the federal disaster declaration, ocean conditions and Domoic acid levels along with new potential rules and guidelines which are responding to this year’s disastrous season.

“This year’s crab season was devastating for the thousands of Californians who are dependent on a healthy crab harvest for their livelihood and the true impacts are now hitting home. We’ve invited the top scientific experts along with government and industry leaders to next week’s hearing to provide an update on algal bloom and Domoic acid levels, they’ll be outlining new rules and guidelines that will be put into place responding to this year’s season and we’ll be hearing from fishery and industry experts about the California crab population,” Senator Mike McGuire said.

The hearing – Progress Reports on 2015-16 Crab Season and Domoic Acid – will feature testimony from fisheries experts, marine scientists, along with state agency representatives and fishermen. The hearing is a follow-up to previous Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture hearings (December 3, 2105, February 11, 2016, and April 28, 2016) and will focus on the 2015-16 California crab season closures and subsequent openings, emphasizing lessons learned and preparedness for future Domoic acid episodes. Panels of experts will provide progress reports on: the results of the season, pending federal disaster declarations, current and predicted ocean conditions, what was learned and implemented from this season, and what needs to be addressed prior to the 2016-2017 season kicking off.

The hearing will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10 at the State Capitol in Room 3191. The hearing will be streamed live at www.senate.ca.gov. The public is welcome to attend.

The list of speakers includes (partial list):

  • Dr. Craig Shuman - Marine Region Manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Deborah Halberstadt – Ocean Protection Council Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Jacque Hostler-Carmesin - Vice-President, California Fish and Game Commission
  • Dr. Raphael Kudela - Lynn Professor of Ocean Health, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Sonke Mastrup - Senior Environmental Specialist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
  • Jennifer Phillips - Program Manager, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Errin Ramanujam - Senior Scientist, Ocean Science Trust
  • Rachelle Fisher - Administrative Team, California Dungeness Crab Task Force
  • Tim Sloane - Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  • Rick Gutierrez - Partner/Owner, Santa Barbara Seafood Station
  • Mike Lucas - President, North Coast Fisheries, Inc.

For more information about the Fisheries Hearing visit the Committee web site at: http://fisheries.legislature.ca.gov/.