After a significant delay, the commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open in the most northern section of Oregon’s coast as of Feb. 16.
This area has remained closed to commercial crabbing to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab viscera (guts) conducted by the state of Washington indicate that levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid are still elevated in the viscera of crab. Until further notice, all crab harvested from Point Chehalis, Wash. to the Washington/Oregon border will be required to have the viscera (guts) removed by a licensed crab processor prior to sale to ensure that crab going into the market are safe to consume.
All crab tested from all of Oregon’s crab harvest areas have been well below alert levels, and all Oregon crab product on the market is safe to eat. The Oregon Department of Agriculture will continue to regularly test crab and shellfish to ensure levels in all areas remain below alert levels.
Prior to the opener, crab vessels in this area will be allowed to set gear from Feb. 13 onward, using the “pre-soak” period of time to set gear in anticipation of the first pull of ocean crab pots on Feb. 16. The recreational crab fishery is already open in this area and along the entire Oregon coast.
For more information about Oregon’s shellfish marine biotoxin monitoring, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at 800-448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at tinyurl.com/lhapugnu