(AP) - Crab pots are sitting empty on docks, boats are idled and fishermen are anxiously waiting for California authorities to open the lucrative Dungeness crab season.
California has delayed the Nov. 15 start of its commercial crab season after finding dangerous levels of a toxin in crabs. Officials in Oregon and Washington are testing crab samples and will decide soon whether to open their coastal season.
A massive bloom of algae - which produced a natural toxin that is harmful to wildlife and fish - in the Pacific Ocean is threatening the crab industry during a time when many fishing outfits make their most money.
A closure along the entire West Coast would be a blow to the industry, which harvested nearly $170 million worth of Dungeness crab in 2014.