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NorCal people rejoice – It’s open season for Crabs again!

The new crab season starts March 26th.

by Alexander Quebec

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has lifted a ban on the harvesting of Dungeness Crab caught below the Mendocino – Sonoma county line shores effective March 26th. Previously, the ban was enacted due to high levels of Domoic acids found in crustaceans caught. Recent test, however, have concluded that the Domoic acid levels caught in samples gathered near the Mendocino – Sonoma county lines are at safe levels for human consumption

This news could not have come sooner as the ban has affected the lives of thousands of commercial fishermen who depend of harvesting crab and other seafood for their livelihoods. To help alleviate some of the issues many of these fishermen were facing, Mayor Ed Lee and the city of San Francisco created the Crab Industry Relief plan to help with the costs of berthing, renting space and other costs associated with crab fishing.

Representatives from the California Department of Health and Human services advise against reusing water used to cook crabs for suaces and soups due to the high levels of Domoic acids present. They also caution against eating the “butter” or the inner guts, also due to high levels of Domoic acids. Domoic acid, a neuro-toxin, can cause symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia and can also lead to coma and death. There is no antidote and no known way to reduce the levels of acid in afflicted foods; those afflicted from it should report to their local hospital for immediate care.

A similar ban on crabs caught north of the Mendocino – Sonoma county line is still in effect.

H/T SF Examiner

Photo Credit: colletes.com

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