Tag Archives: North Coast crabbers

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

‘Horrible’ season: North Coast crabbers haul in third of average catch

AR-160739983.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667Asked to describe this year’s nine-week commercial Dungeness crab season that should have lasted seven months, Eureka-based crab fisherman Jubal Hall was quite frank. “It was garbage,” he said. “It was horrible.” Hall, 40, is now on his way to Alaska to make up for his losses by fishing on the notoriously dangerous waters of the Bering Sea. While it’s not his preference, Hall said he needs to be able to make up for the financial losses that this year’s dismally short crab season and a second job on the side could not.“I’m broke,” he said. “I’m going up to Alaska because that’s what I’ve got to do to survive.” The Dungeness crab season on California’s North Coast was the hardest hit by toxic algae blooms that have persisted now for over a year straight. Read the story here 09:46