Tag Archives: California Coast Crab Association

Taking a Pause – Ropeless fishing gear bill gets put on hold

The legislative push for ropeless gear in the Dungeness crab fishing industry is taking a pause after the Assembly bill’s author was sworn in as California’s 34th attorney general. Authored by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) in collaboration with Social Compassion in Legislation and the Center for Biological Diversity, the bill argued that fishermen use antiquated trapping gear that harms marine life. California Coast Crab Association President Benjamin Platt said the Center for Biological Diversity “lobbied hard to find somebody else to carry that bill. Platt calls the pause on the Whale Entangle Prevention Act a “David and Goliath moment for California fishers.” >click to read< 07:46

California Crab Groups Oppose Legislation Requiring ‘Ropeless’ Gear

The crabbing season has been repeatedly delayed by state agencies citing concerns about whale sightings,,, The most recent industry challenge comes in the form of proposed legislation which would require crabbers and many other fishermen to use “ropeless” traps by the end of 2025 in order to avoid killing or harming sea creatures which can become snared in lines stretching from a trap at the sea-floor to a buoy at the surface. In a recent press release, Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association, an industry group formed last year, says AB 534 “promotes an unproven and unviable fishing method that presents significant operational and safety risks to West Coast fisheries.” >click to read< 08:13

North Coast crabbers line up against bill mandating ropeless gear, AB 534

A coalition of crab industry associations across California has issued a letter opposing a state Assembly bill mandating all fishing fleets switch to ropeless fishing gear by 2025. The coalition of the state’s major fishing industry groups sent the letter opposing Assembly Bill 534, or the Whale Entanglement Prevention Act, this week to its author Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and the Assembly’s Water and Parks Committee members who will vote on the legislation. The Crescent City-based California Coast Crab Association sent the letter, also signed by Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association President Harrison Ibach. >click to read< 11:35

Bill 534 could eliminate whale entanglements, hurt (destroy) the crab fishery

The Whale Entanglement Prevention Act introduced on Feb. 10 proposes that trap fisheries such as the crabbing industry use ropeless gear by Nov. 1, 2025,,, Authored by Rob Bonta-D California, in collaboration with Social Compassion in Legislation and the Center for Biological Diversity, Assembly Bill 534 argues that crabbers use antiquated trapping gear that needlessly harms marine life. California Coast Crab Association President Bejamin Platt said the industry has been against ropeless gear because it’s not cost-effective the current price for the gear is more than $1,700.  >click to read< 15:37

This Year’s Dungeness Crab Fishery a Shell of its Former Self

Price strike drags on for California crab fleet holding out for better price

“We can’t afford to do these operations with the price they’re offering. We go backward,” said Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association. “That’s why everyone’s holding together, holding strong. We were starting at $3 a pound 10 years ago, and our costs have definitely gone up.” The additional two bits that crabbers are seeking before they’ll be wiling to leave dockside makes an enormous difference when multiplied by thousands of pounds.,, Veteran Bodega Bay crabber Tony Anello, part of a family long tied to the industry. “You’re not going to be able to keep your crew long, because you can’t sustain them. >click to read< 09:01

Local Dungeness crab fishermen oppose new fish and wildlife regulations

The regulations are a product of concerns surrounding how often whales and other endangered species are getting caught in the ropes used to fish crabs. The regulations were met with some resistance from the local fishing community. However, conservationists argue the rules will do more good than harm to wildlife. Tim Obert, a fisherman, strongly opposes,,, “You’re driving down the street and you accidentally run over a squirrel or maybe you hit a deer on a mountain road, it doesn’t mean you go park your car in the garage and never turn it on again or never leave your house,” he said. Ben Platt, the President of the California Coast Crab Association, also opposes the regulations,,, >click to read< 08:13

California crab fisherman are concerned the so-called ‘ropeless’ fishing gear, is not the answer

Is the so-called “ropeless” fishing gear the silver bullet for solving the perceived problem of marine mammal interactions in California’s crab fisheries. Several profit-driven environmental groups, including Oceana would like the public and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to believe these baseless claims. That’s because these groups are ramping up efforts to force California’s historic and economically most important fishery – which helps create millions of dollars annually for working families – to adopt expensive, impractical and unworkable new fishing gear, which would force most crab fishermen out of business. By Johnny Atkinson  >click to read< 15:33

Bodega Bay Crabbers struggle to protect whales frequenting their waters–while still making a living.

Mark Gentry pauses for an afternoon yerba mate on the dock by his boat, whose deck is littered with crusty lines and vinyl yellow “bib” coveralls. Tall piles of circular mesh crab pots sit idle nearby; this year’s crab season ended early as whales moved through the area.,, Since 2015, crabber Dick Ogg says he and his colleagues have been doing “everything we can to fish alongside the whales and coexist with them,” including starting a lost gear removal program and working to remove potentially dangerous excess slack from buoy lines. They even voluntarily delayed the 2019-2020 crabbing season due to high whale activity.  CDFW senior scientist Ryan Bartling points out that these programs weren’t just implemented by crabbers but actually suggested by them, as part of a working group of fishermen, regulators, and nonprofit representatives who convened to find solutions. >click to read< 18:50

Ropeless gear is not the silver bullet – New technology promises to save the whales by reducing the need for crab fishing lines.

“We are working with fishermen to see what works and what doesn’t and what allows the fisherman to survive economically,” says Geoff Shester, a Monterey-based scientist with nonprofit Ocean. In June, the Ocean Protection Council awarded $500,000 for the testing of pop-up gear in the coming fishing season. The money will pay for five prototypes, including designs by Marina-based Desert Star Systems and Watsonville-based McFarlane Marine Services. The money will also go to fishermen participating in the research. A new crab industry group, California Coast Crab Association, is pushing back. Its president, Ben Platt, described the RAMP regulations as “an existential threat to our livelihoods”,,, >click to read< 08:39

Fire Tears Through San Francisco’s Pier 45 Fishing Offices, Equipment at Fisherman’s Wharf

The four-alarm fire at San Francisco’s Pier 45 will put a real strain on the fish and crab industry that’s an important part of Fisherman’s Wharf. Several dozen fishing businesses are located on the rear of the pier, including offices, vehicles and equipment. Hundreds of thousands of crab pots were lost at a cost of more than $300 apiece, leading to a burned plastic smell in the area. The fishermen and crab fleet keeps most of their gear at Pier 45. “It’s a complete wipeout for the majority of the crab fleet there,” California Coast Crab Association President Ben Platt told KCBS Radio. >click to read or listen< 22:31

California crab fishery to close May 15th for whale protection

Commercial fishermen are protesting an order by California wildlife authorities to close the Dungeness crab fishery in mid-May to protect whales and sea turtles from becoming entangled in fishing gear. There have been no confirmed interactions between commercial Dungeness crab gear and any whales during the current crab season, which began in December, Ben Platt, president of the Crescent City-based California Coast Crab Association, said in a statement. The crab association statement characterized harm to migratory whales from commercial crab fishing gear as a “perceived risk.” The group said that cooperative measures between the fishing fleet and the state make it extremely rare for there to be interactions between Dungeness crab gear and subgroups of humpback whales that are categorized as endangered or threatened. >click to read< 18:24

Dungeness Crab Season Closed Early Due to Dubious Whale Crisis, COVID-19 Economic Impact on Coastal Communities Made Worse by Closure – “The risk of crab fishing gear harming endangered whales is statistically insignificant because of low concentrations of whale, as well as the relatively small amounts of gear being deployed along the Central California coast,” said Ben Platt, president of the California Coast Crab Association (CCCA).  >click to read<

California Coast Crab Association

Who we are, and what we do! The Dungeness crab industry working together to protect and preserve the California Dungeness Crab fishery for the continued economic survival of the West Coast commercial fishing fleet and our coastal communities.,,, CCCA is the only self-funded CA Dungeness crab organization with no ties to environmental groups or NGO’s. We endeavor to resolve all Dungeness crab issues to the benefit of the CA crab industry at large. >Click to read<10:53