California Commercial crabbers still hope for relief from previous season

ar-161119792-jpgmaxh400maxw667Commercial crab fishing opens Tuesday, but fishermen are still reeling from last year’s abysmal season and haven’t seen any sign of the hoped-for federal emergency funds Gov. Jerry Brown requested from the Department of Commerce. In February, Brown wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, asking her to declare a fishery resource disaster. He sought federal help in offsetting the $48.3 million loss to the industry after crab fishing was put on hold due to toxin contamination. Dungeness crab is one of the highest valued commercial fisheries in California,” he wrote. “Declaring a commercial failure will enable the fishing communities affected by the closure to receive essential economic assistance.” “We’re all far behind,” said Vicki Crow, a crab vendor at Moss Landing Harbor. Crow, 60, has been in the fishing industry most of her adult life, starting at around age 20 with commercial abalone and sea urchin diving. Now she sells crab from a dock at the harbor. “It’s just been really bad for us,” she said. Read the story here 08:24