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Crab Season in Northwest Gets Go-Ahead One Month Late

December 21, 2015

Oregon and Washington fisheries managers announced Monday that commercial crab season will open Jan. 4, 2016. That’s about a month later than it was scheduled to start. High levels of domoic acid in the Pacific Ocean had delayed the season.
 
Scientists suspect that a lingering patch of warm water led to high levels of the toxin.
 
Kelly Corbett of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the state has been testing sites along the coast on a weekly basis.
 
“All areas that were tested for a third time in a row have all trended downward,” Corbett said.
 
The crab has been deemed safe for human consumption.
 
Oregon also immediately lifted closures on recreational crabbing.  Corbett says demoic acid testing results for clams and mussels are expected soon. Recreational crabbing is open in all of Washington’s coastal waters and in Puget Sound, where marine toxins in crab have not been a problem.

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Dungeness crab being unloaded at the Quinault Indian Nation docks in Westport, Washington. Almost a quarter of the  tribe is employed in the fishing industry.

Ashley Ahearn, KUOW/EarthFix