No Dungeness crab for Christmas? Another delay pushes fishing timeline in California

Shmuel Thaler/Santa Cruz Sentinel

Commercial and recreational crab season has been delayed — again.

In an effort to protect humpback whales from being entangled in fishing gear, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Wednesday that delays along the Southern and Northern California coastline will remain “at least through Dec. 30”.

Throughout the central coastlines, recent vessels and aerial surveys indicated a high number of humpback whales were present in the feeding grounds, according to the CDFW. The large presence of migrating humpback whales is concerning because it can create a threat as they migrate to their breeding grounds off Mexico and Central America.

Already this year, there have been 16 confirmed entanglements of humpback whales reported off California’s coast, according to the CDFW.

In Northern California, commercial Dungeness crab fishing was also partially delayed because of poor meat quality throughout the region.

This is the third delay of the commercial season. The next risk assessment is scheduled for Dec. 20.

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