(AP) - A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is threatening to delay the start of the Dungeness crab season in California.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the season starts Saturday, but fishermen must wait as California health officials test the crustaceans for the presence of domoic acid - a neurotoxin that is harmful to people, fish and marine life.
This summer, ocean researchers said the algae bloom was one of the largest ever observed and is flourishing amid unusually warm ocean water. It's causing severe consequences for the Pacific seafood industry, coastal tourism and marine ecosystems and has already shut down crabbing in Washington state.
Test results for Dungeness crabs living in eight California ports are due midweek.