SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The highly anticipated recreational Dungeness crab season is now open.
Starting November 4th, officials are giving fishermen the go ahead to start the sporting season after several years of the crab season being plagued by domoic acid, a highly potent toxin produced by algae that can accumulate in shellfish. The toxin can be harmful, or even fatal to humans, if consumed.
A crab buyer at the Santa Cruz Harbor, Tracy Castagnola, says after years of disappointing crab seasons he is staying hopeful for this one.
"Sports season usually starts and you know kind of lets you know what's going on and if the sports people start coming in with quite a few crab in a days soak, then that means there's crab out there. But they usually don't crab in the areas or go out as deep as commercial crabbers so we'll see, just gotta pray and hope," said Castagnola.
While officials say some levels of domoic acid have been found in crabs around the Bay Area this year, it is not a high enough level to cause concern.
The commercial crab season is set to start November 15th, 2017.