The entire Dungeness crab fishery will be closed off the coast of California this month after humpback whales attacked fishermen during their migration, wildlife officials said.
Fishing grounds 1 and 2, from the California-Oregon border to Point Arena in Mendocino County, will be closed at noon on April 20, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The closure of sections 3 to 6, from Point Arena to the California-Mexico border, was announced last month and began Friday.
“We received reports of new humpback whales being introduced and we quickly moved to stop fishing to prevent humpback whales starting to return to California waters,” said Charlton Bonham. , Director of Fish and Wildlife on Wednesday at the release.
“While these poses have an economic impact on some parts of our coastal fishing community, it is important to protect whales and the longevity of commercial fishing,” he said.
The North Bay Business Journal reports that Dungeness’s crab collection will be $ 30.1 million in 2020 and $ 83.1 million in 2016.
The closure comes after the industry reviewed the safety of crab fishermen following several incidents of whales being tied to equipment.
The traps were on the ocean floor, but the whales were tied with fishing lines to attach the traps to the traps.
On Monday, five humpback whale entanglements were confirmed in 2022, according to data published by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. These are located outside of Santa Cruz, near Half Moon Bay and in Monterey Bay.
At the Monterey Bay event on March 19, the whale was listed as “going with one tool box (one large box with a sign, one trailer box, and a rear sign box),” the Department said in its report.
Just days after the department announced the closure of sections 3 to 6 on March 25, the National Marine Fisheries Service confirmed two new additions, claiming in closing the remaining spaces.
Bonham also approved a plan to remove the equipment left in the water starting April 15 at locations 3 to 6 and April 27 at locations 1 and 2.
“The past few seasons have been difficult for fishing families, communities and businesses, but we need to strike the right balance between preventing humpback whales and providing fishing time. , “Bonham said in a March 25 announcement.
Free humpback whales are rescued off the coast of California
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