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High Toxin Level Delays California Crab Season

californiadfg / Flickr
 

californiadfg / Flickr

UPDATE 1 p.m. - (AP) - Wildlife authorities have delayed the Dungeness crab season and closed the rock crab fishery for most of California just days after warning of dangerous levels of a neurotoxin linked to a massive algae bloom off the West Coast.

The state Fish and Game Commission voted 3-0 Thursday on the Dungeness delay and the rock crab closure north of the Santa Barbara-Ventura county line. The panel said crabbing would resume when toxin levels dropped.

The recreational Dungeness season was scheduled to start Saturday and the commercial season was set for Nov. 15.

High levels of domoic acid have been found in crabs from the Oregon border to the southern Santa Barbara County line.

The toxin has affected shellfish and sickened or killed seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales throughout the region.

Original Post: (AP) - California officials are considering delaying the Dungeness crab season and closing the rock crab fishery just days after warning of dangerous levels of a neurotoxin linked to a massive algae bloom off the West Coast.

The state Fish and Game Commission will meet Thursday to vote on the Dungeness delay and the rock crab closure.

The recreational Dungeness season was scheduled to start Saturday and the commercial season was set for Nov. 15. Officials didn't say how long the delay might be.

Health officials on Tuesday warned people to avoid eating Dungeness and rock crabs. High levels of domoic acid have been found in crabs from the Oregon border to the southern Santa Barbara County line.

The toxin has affected shellfish and sickened or killed seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales throughout the region.