Local crabs testing clean of neurotoxins prior to Dec. 1 commercial opener

 fishing boats sit in Eureka The commercial opener for Dungeness crab fishing is set to take place on Dec. 1, and to the relief of Humboldt County crabbers, there is little sign of domoic acid which caused disastrous effects of last season. Eureka crab fisherman David Helliwell said he is concerned the naturally-produced neurotoxin could make a return this year, but said only time will tell whether they will be able to haul in enough crab before then to make up for last year’s losses. “We were able to pay some bills, but not others,” Helliwell said describing the impacts of last season’s late start. “We didn’t have any income for five months. So the fact that we had income for two months doesn’t make up for all that lost time.” North Coast crabbers were supposed to have started their season on Dec. 1, 2015, but instead found themselves setting their pots in May this year. The season ended in July with the statewide crab fleet pulling in less than half of their average haul. Many crabbers fell into debt and are now waiting for federal emergency relief funds that may never come. Read the story here 10:16

  • Susan Sack

    Southern Humboldt and Mendocino are still closed and the small independent crabbers get hit again this year – Some things never change