Tag Archives: California Department of Public Health

Dungeness crab season could be delayed again by the toxin domoic acid

Dungeness crab season is approaching in the Bay Area, along with all the rituals that come with it — the crab feeds and holiday dinners piled with crab legs, sourdough bread and crocks of melted butter. Unfortunately, there’s another, more recent local tradition that is also back: uncertainty about whether algal blooms will delay the season. Domoic acid is the naturally occurring toxin caused by algal blooms that delayed the past two Dungeness crab seasons. According to test results from the California Department of Public Health, elevated levels of the toxin have shown up in samples of Dungeness crab collected in recent weeks at several North Coast ports. However, the agency said it’s too soon to say whether domoic acid will delay the commercial Dungeness fishery, due to open Nov. 15. click here to read the story 11:05

Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery Closed at Anacapa Island and the East End of Santa Cruz Island Due to Public Health Hazard

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has enacted a commercial spiny lobster fishery closure effective immediately. State health agencies determined that spiny lobster near Anacapa Island, Ventura County and the east end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County had unhealthy levels of domoic acid and recommended closure of the commercial fishery. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to recreational anglers to avoid consuming the viscera (tomalley) of spiny lobster. click here to read the story 21:30

California Dungeness crab industry bounces back with strong season

Crabbers, seafood processors and state biologists agree that the most recent Dungeness crab season, which ended June 30 south of Mendocino County, was above average. Considering the disastrous previous season of 2015-16, which featured historic, months-long closures in the Dungeness crab fishery due to the presence of domoic acid in the animals, that’s more than above-average news. “We made some money,” said Shane Lucas, who fishes for crab out of Bodega Bay, where he also owns the Fishetarian Fish Market. Based on preliminary data, the 2016-17 season brought in over 21 million pounds of Dungeness crab to California ports, worth $66.7 million.,,, But this year’s crab season was not without its issues. click here to read the story 16:33

Dungeness crab get qualified thumbs-up in tests for domoic acid


The fate of the Dungeness crab season will hang on the test results coming out of an East Bay lab. With the beginning of the season approaching in November, the California Department of Public Health has begun safety tests on Dungeness crab a few weeks earlier than usual. Dungeness crab samples collected from Crescent City (Del Norte County) all the way down to Monterey are filing in to the Food and Drug Laboratory Branch in Richmond, where they are tested for domoic acid, the naturally occurring but potentially devastating neurotoxin that wreaked havoc on last year’s season. So far, results are normal for this time of year, said Patrick Kennelly, chief of food safety at the state health department — even though crabs from four of six regions are testing positive for domoic acid. But you can be sure that crabbers, as well as officials from the departments of public health and fish and wildlife, are watching the results closely, with Dungeness crab season due to start Nov. 5 for recreational fishers and Nov. 15 for commercial crabbers. Read the story here 09:42

Outlook improves for Dungeness crab season

920x1240 chasin crustationEven though last year’s “blob” of warm water finally dissipated, no one is resting easy — especially after the California Department of Public Health issued an advisory in August against eating rock crab from Half Moon Bay and Monterey Bay after the crustacean tested high for domoic acid. Government agencies and legislators are trying to streamline the process of opening and closing fisheries for the crab season, so that areas that stay free of algal blooms can remain open even if other areas have to close, keeping more safe crab on the table and fishers in business. “We’re cautiously optimistic that we won’t see the widespread pervasive domoic acid levels that are above health alert levels,” said Craig Shuman, marine region manager of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who said that safety testing on Dungeness crab will start this month, which is earlier than usual. Read the story here 12:05

Crab season delay ‘scary’ for North Coast fishermen

On Jan. 4, the California Department of Public Health released the summary of domoic acid levels in crabs caught along the California coast. As of Dec. 31, the health advisory for crabs caught between the Santa Barbara/Ventura County Line and Latitude 35 (40 minutes north of the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County) was lifted. But dangerous levels of the toxin were found in crabs caught as recently as Dec. 27 in the northern part of the state. That’s bad news for Don and Teresa Akin, of The Fish Peddler, and Scott Hockett, of Noyo Fish Company. Read the article here 08:22

Getting Close! California’s Dungeness crab season still not ready to begin

dungenesscrab“I don’t know when we will reopen,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton Bonham told a legislative committee in Santa Rosa. “You deserve honesty.” Tests by the California Department of Public Health show levels of domoic acid, a biotoxin that has tainted this year’s crabs, have declined to safe levels from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. But it will take another round of clean tests for Fish and Wildlife to consider opening the commercial crab season in those areas, and levels of domoic acid remain high in northern counties from Sonoma to the Oregon border. Read the article here 07:43

Toxin Levels Dropping in California Crabs

dungenesscrabSeafood lovers and California’s commercial fishermen received good news Thursday as tests revealed dropping levels of the dangerous neurotoxin that has temporarily delayed the state’s crab season. Dungeness crab caught and surveyed from the San Francisco Bay, Half Moon Bay and Morro Bay were found to have safe levels for domoic acid, according to test results from the California Department of Public Health. Read the article here 15:32

Cold Smoked Salmon Recalled for Listeria in CA

The California Department of Public Health is reporting that cold smoked salmon is being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported. Illnesses caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear. The recalled products are Cold Smoked Salmon Deli Trays and Cold Smoked Salmon Trim produced by Certified Smoked Fish of Gardena, California. Read the rest here 08:01