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State health officials Wednesday recommended an
indefinite delay of the commercial crabbing season for Dungeness along a more
than 200-mile stretch of Northern California owing to a toxin from algae
The recommendation from California’s Office of
Environmental Health Hazard Assessment marks a second year that toxic blooms
have hit the West Coast's crabbing industry. Dungeness is a tradition on
holiday tables for many in this part of the country.
Commercial crabbing for Dungeness was supposed to
start Dec. 1. State health officials are recommending now that commercial
crabbing from Humboldt Bay to Point Reyes be delayed indefinitely.
As many as half of Dungeness sampled in those areas
tested over the limits for domoic acid. The toxin stems from algae blooms and
can cause food-poisoning-like problems, breathing difficulties, disorientation
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California health officials say Dungeness caught from
the Oregon border to Humboldt Bay still test safe. Oregon shut down all
crabbing for a stretch of coast north of the California border earlier this
week because of the toxin.
California health officials earlier had recommended
that recreational crabbers avoid eating the guts of Dungeness or drinking broth
from boiling the crab to minimize exposure.
In : Crab Industry