McGuire, Huffman to hold hearing to update on upcoming crab season, state aquaculture
North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) and 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) will hold a special hearing in Bodega Bay this afternoon updating on the expectations of the upcoming 2016-2017 crab season.
One item set to be discussed is the status of the $138.2 million in federal financial relief funds proposed by Huffman and other congress members to aid the crabbing industry after last year’s disastrous season. A massive bloom of an algae-produced neurotoxin known as domoic acid along the entire West Coast delayed the start of the North Coast’s commercial crab season last season from Dec. 1 to mid-May.
North Coast Dungeness crabbers only hauled in a third of their average catch, causing many to take heavy financial hits and put many in debt before they got a chance to put their pots in the water.
At a Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture hearing in August headed by McGuire, researchers stated that domoic acid is not expected to be as significant of an issue this season, but said that there are still hot spots near Trinidad and Santa Barbara.
Today’s hearing will also touch upon the state’s aquaculture industry as a whole, including finfish, shellfish and inland operations.