Commercial crab fishing to expand on Mendocino Coast

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing will begin along more of the Mendocino Coast next week because of recent tests from state health officials indicating crab caught in the area no longer pose a significant health risk to consumers.

The commercial crab season will open Thursday in the coastal waters in Mendocino County between Point Arena and Ten Mile River north of Fort Bragg, state fish and wildlife officials announced Friday.

But the section of coastline between Ten Mile River and Shelter Cove in Humboldt County will remain closed, officials said, until the tests on crabs there show no further significant public health risk from domoic acid, which is a neurotoxin that can be harmful if ingested by consumers.

Friday’s announcement followed reports from fish and wildlife officials earlier this week that the rest of the Sonoma Coast and part of the Mendocino Coast would open to commercial crab fishing.

The season started this morning in the waters between Salt Point and the Mendocino County line and on Monday from the Mendocino County line to Point Arena, as well as a from Shelter Cove to the north jetty of the Humboldt Bay entrance in Humboldt County.

The recreational season began Nov. 5, and it is still open with a warning from state health officials that consumers not ingest the guts, or viscera, of Dungeness crab that are caught between Ten Mile River and Shelter Cove.

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