STATES CHRONICLE – A huge toxic algae wave is now happening in Northern California, which led fisherman to believe that crab season might not happen for us this fall.
We’re talking about Dungeness crab and its season, which was scheduled to start on November 7th, this year. However, that might not happen now because of the massive algae bloom that’s happening, which might actually render the crabs inedible.
State officials are testing the crab meat as we speak. More specifically, they are testing the levels of domoic acid in them and they will have the results ready for us by the end of the week. Domoic is normally found either in phytoplankton or in algae, which are eaten by a series of shrimp and other organisms in the ocean.
The president of California Small Boat Trollers Association, Don Marshall, a fisherman himself, released a statement saying that this year’s Dungeness crab season might be delayed for days, even months.
Fishermen are, of course, worried. No so much that they will lose the entire season, but that they will lose the Thanksgiving market, which for them would be economically crushing. Don Marshall said that he is not worried about losing the whole season himself either. As he explains, the algae bloom as well as the warm ocean currents that are now helping it, will eventually dissipate and colder currents will come down from the north.
Sadly, California is not the only one dealing with this problem right now. Washington is in the same situation. The person who spoke for the state of Washington is Dan Ayres, from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. He did indeed say that this was never such a big problem before, but that this year a huge unprecedented closure was seen regarding the crabs.
The Dungeness crab usually lives in the bottom of North America waters. It can grow up to 20 cm in size and it is a very well-known and appreciated sea food type, for its sweet and tender flesh. It was named after the port of Dungeness, in Washington.
It is considered to be a marine delicacy and it can be either boiled or baked. The crabs themselves diet on clams, other crustaceans such as itself and small fish, which probably accounts for its meat’s sweet taste.
It is the most commercially important crab in the western states. Also, the annual Dungeness Crab Festival is held every October in Port Angeles.
Image Source: www.formerchef.com