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Commercial and Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishery Update

CALIFORNIA— Humpback whales have migrated out of Fishing Zones 1 and 2, and crabs in those zones have passed quality testing. The commercial fishery north of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line to the Oregon state line opened on Dec. 1, allowing commercial crabbers to get crab on tables and menus before the year is finished. The commercial fishery is currently open in Fishing Zones 5 and 6, from Lopez Point in Monterey County to the Mexico border. The commercial fishery will continue to be delayed in Fishing Zones 3 and 4, from the Sonoma/ Mendocino County line to Lopez Point, due to the high numbers of humpback whales in the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay and the possibility of entanglement in trap gear. Early reports of successful crabbing are coming in from recreational crabbers in Fishing Zones 1 and 2 and those using hoop nets in Fishing Zones 3 and 4. Therefore, the recreational fishery for Dungeness crab is open statewide with a temporary crab trap restriction for Fishing Zones 3 and 4. The temporary trap restriction does not affect the recreational take of Dungeness crab by other methods, including hoop nets and crab snares.

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