Delayed Dungeness crab season sinks catch, sales for California fishermen

A historic delay in the 2015-16 Dungeness crab season reduced statewide commercial landings by more than a third this year and cut into gross sales off the boat by about 44 percent, according to preliminary figures from the state. Bodega Bay, one of nine key commercial ports between Morro Bay and Crescent City, mirrored the sharp statewide downturn, with Dungeness landings down 37 percent from the previous season, to 1.8 million pounds, according to early calculations. The figures, from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, offer the first postseason look at a grim year for the normally lucrative commercial Dungeness fishery — the state’s second-most valuable, worth about $60 million in most years. Gross sales last season for the crab fleet topped $33 million, about 45 percent of the 5-year average, according to state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. Read the story here 19:56

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