The commercial crab season will be delayed at least another two weeks after domoic acid levels again tested at levels too high for safe consumption, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) reported this week.
Additionally, fishermen are waiting for crab to put on more meat before they are worth harvesting.
The acceptable cap for domoic acid in crab viscera — the guts — is 30 parts per million (ppm) and 20 ppm for the meat. The most recent test last week showed viscera levels at 30 ppm; meat levels were not listed.
The area from Cape Blanco to the border with California remains closed. The last test was conducted Jan. 2; the ODFW requires there to be two consecutive “clean” weeks before it will open the season.
This is the third year in a row the commercial crab season has been delayed past its traditional Dec. 1 opening date. All three times, the delay has been due to high levels of domoic acid, a biotoxin that can make people sick.