Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood host hearing on crab season delay

North Coast legislators will chair the December 3 hearing focused on the California Dungeness Crab Fishery and the impacts of a delayed start of season

Monday, November 16, 2015

Santa Rosa, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Assemblymember Jim Wood, Committee Vice-Chair, are hosting a hearing focused on the delayed opening of the Dungeness Crab season. The legislators will be focused on public health issues, ocean conditions and the coastal fishing economy. A panel of experts will discuss the current status, ocean conditions, what to expect in the weeks ahead and impacts of the season delay.

Here is the hearing information:

What: The California Dungeness and Rock Crab Fishery: Public Health, Ocean Conditions and Maintaining a Strong Coastal Economy 

When: Thursday, December 3

Where: Main Room of the Steele Lane Community Center, 415 Steele Ln., Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Time: 3pm – 6pm

Who: State & federal agency representatives, fishing industry representatives, leaders from the Dungeness Crab Task Force, North Coast county elected officials and more.

In early November, just as the recreational and commercial Dungeness crab seasons were set to open, unsafe levels of domoic acid were found in local crab. 

“We know that the North Coast is crab country – it’s a top industry here – and the decision to delay the opening did not come lightly,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “This forum will bring all of the industry experts together in one location, focused on protecting the public’s health, ocean conditions and our crab dependent coastal economy.”

The hearing will begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3.

“This hearing will provide an important opportunity to bring together industry leaders, and decision makers,” said Assemblymember Wood. “It is crucial that we know what we to expect for the rest of this crab season, and what to be prepared for in the future.”

The closure will remain in effect until the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), determines that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and no longer recommends the fisheries be closed.

The Dungeness crab fishery is in the top tier of California’s commercial fisheries. Values have exceeded $95 million per year and long-term averages of nearly $60 million. 

For more information on the health advisories and the commission’s decision to delay the recreational Dungeness crab season, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/health-advisories

Additional details, including a list of speakers for the hearing, will be provided within the next week.

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