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Commercial Dungeness crab fishery

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2018-19 commercial crab fishing season opening weekly updates

In accordance with the Tri-State protocol (pdf) pre-season testing in Oregon will begin in early November. Meat recovery and biotoxin results from the test fishery will be used as a basis for deciding the crab season opening date(s). In partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and the commercial Dungeness crab industry, ODFW collects and tests crab out of the six major crabbing ports in Oregon. Weekly testing updates, along with information about season opening status will be posted below. Weekly updates will be provided until the decision to open the season is made.

Weekly updates

Date

Update

2/14 - Thursday

Test results from crab viscera samples collected on February 11th indicate domoic acid is again elevated in the southern Oregon area.  ODFW and Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA) are immediately designating the area Bandon to the Oregon/California border (Harvest Areas J, K and L) as a Biotoxin Management Zone and implementing an evisceration order for all crab harvested from the zone on or after February 14, 2019.  In addition, ODA is implementing a recall for whole or live crab that were harvested from Area 50-K only (Cape Blanco to Gold Beach) from February 11th, 2019 through February 13th, 2019.

For detailed evisceration instructions, testing results and schedules, please see the ODA’s website here https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/CrabBiotoxinInfo.aspx.

Testing for domioc acid will continue on approximately a weekly basis to determine if and when the evisceration order can be lifted.

The recreational fishery in this area is now closed.

1/31 - Thursday

Crab viscera samples collected this week were all below alert level from crab harvest areas K and L.  In area L, this week’s sample is the second all clear test in a row. Based on these results the scheduled evisceration requirement for crab harvested from Cape Blanco to the border has been lifted. Results are posted on ODA’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/CrabBiotoxinInfo.aspx

An evisceration requirement will remain in place for all crab harvested from any area outside Oregon with crab viscera samples for domoic acid of 30 ppm or higher, which includes all crab harvested off California at this time. Information on the evisceration requirements can be found at the end of the industry notice posted above and on ODA’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/CrabBiotoxinInfo.aspx.

1/29 - Tuesday

To address an area of confusion that have come up this week regarding regulations related to fair start for the opening of Cape Arago to the border, ODFW has the following clarification:

  1. Oregon regulations require vessels to wait until 9AM on February 1 to set pots in California and not be subject to fair start since that is the date/time that fishing starts in Oregon south of Cape Arago. If vessels set pots in California before 9AM they would be considered fishing and would not be allowed to fish in Oregon waters until 30 days after February 1. Contact CDFW for information on California regulations as they relate to fair start.

The details for the opening of the south coast of Oregon on Feb 1 are posted above in the industry notice dated January 24, 2019.

1/24 - Thursday

Details for the opening of the south coast of Oregon on Feb 1 are posted above in the industry notice dated January 24, 2019.  Information for Oregon Department of Agriculture evisceration requirements can be found at the end of the industry notice posted above and on ODA’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/CrabBiotoxinInfo.aspx.

1/23 - Wednesday

As decided last week, the south coast of Oregon will open on February 1 for commercial Dungeness crab harvest.  Crab harvested south of Cape Blanco will be required to be landed under an evisceration order, according to ODA temporary rules which are currently in development to include crab harvested from areas with crab test results equal to or higher than 30 ppm, including all waters south of the OR/CA border.  The action level for domoic acid in crab in Oregon is 30 ppm consistent with US FDA criteria.

Until temporary rules are filed by ODA that specify the evisceration requirements, whole crab may NOT be landed or transported into Oregon that has been harvested from an area with crab domoic acid levels equal to or above 30 ppm.

Please check back soon for FAQ and additional information.

1/18 - Friday

Crab samples for domoic acid testing collected early this week indicate crab viscera is elevated above threshold again in crab area L.  Recent domoic acid testing in California have indicated their two most northern areas, Crescent City and Trinidad North, are all below alert levels for a second consecutive test. The CDPH (responsible for public health safeguards for CA) has recommended opening crab fishing in the Crescent City and Trinidad North area, adjacent to the CA/OR border.

After consultation with CDFW and Oregon’s crab industry advisors, southern OR and northern California will open to commercial crabbing on different dates, with northern California opening first. The area from Cape Arago down to the California border will open on Feb 1 and fair start provisions will apply across the OR/CA border. The area from Cape Blanco to the California border will most likely open on an evisceration requirement. We are prioritizing getting domoic acid sampling completed for area L over the next two weeks and testing in crab areas K and L will continue for the foreseeable future, including after the season opens.

1/14 - Monday

Crab were collected over the weekend and today from areas K and L for domoic acid testing. Results are anticipated late Wed or Thurs morning later this week. The results of the industry requested market samples collected over the weekend are: area J = 24.8% and area K = 22.6%.

ODFW still plans to work towards a single opening, with a 30 day fair start provision, for the four southern Oregon crab harvest areas (I, J, K and L) until further notice. We have heard significant support on waiting to open these areas until the domoic acid issue in area L is resolved. While there have now been two tests in a row with domoic acid below FDA criteria in area L, results from the most recent area K test (expected later this week) are needed before opening the fishery to unrestricted harvest. In addition, recent area L tests found crab very close to the threshold, and domoic acid levels remain elevated in razor clams at Gold Beach. Therefore, domoic acid testing of crab in areas K and L will continue for the foreseeable future, likely including after the season opens.

ODFW plans to consult with industry advisors and Tri-State managers by the end of the week to discuss the season opening structure south of Cape Arago. If sampling indicates that domoic acid persists above threshold levels in area L, ODFW will consult with industry regarding continuing to delay the season versus opening in early February under mandatory evisceration for the Biotoxin Management Area (areas L and K).

1/11 - Friday

The domoic acid results from crab collected from area L on Monday are still pending. The scheduled sample collection for domoic acid in area K has continued to be delayed due to weather this week but the permitted boat is planning to collect crab this weekend. We still anticipate having domoic acid results in both areas K and L by the middle to end of next week, in addition to meat quality results from industry requested market samples for areas J and K.  Domoic acid results (areas L and K) will be posted when they are available on ODA’s website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf.

ODFW still plans to work towards a single opening, with a 30 day fair start provision, for the four southern Oregon crab harvest areas (I, J, K and L) until further notice. We have heard significant support on waiting to open these areas until the domoic acid issue in area L is resolved, if possible, and there will not be an opening in the area south of Cape Arago on January 15th.

If sampling indicates that domoic acid persists above threshold levels in area L, ODFW will consult with industry regarding continuing to delay the season versus opening in early February under mandatory evisceration for the Biotoxin Management Area (areas L and K).

1/8 - Tuesday

The scheduled sample collection for domoic acid in areas K and L was delayed due to weather. Area L sample arrived at the dock Monday morning, but area K has yet to be sampled. We anticipate having domoic acid results in both areas K and L by the middle to end of next week, in addition to meat quality results from industry requested market samples for areas J and K.

ODFW plans to work towards a single opening, with a 30 day fair start provision, for the four southern Oregon crab harvest areas (I, J, K and L) until further notice. We have heard significant support on waiting to open these areas until the domoic acid issue in area L is resolved, if possible, and are not planning for a January 15th opening in the area south of Cape Arago. However, if California indicates that the Crescent City area may open on January 15th we plan to re-convene with industry advisors for additional input.

If sampling indicates that domoic acid persists above threshold levels in area L, ODFW will consult with industry regarding continuing to delay the season versus opening in early February under mandatory evisceration for the Biotoxin Management Area (areas L and K).

1/7 - Monday

The scheduled sample collection for domoic acid in areas K and L was delayed due to weather. Area L sample arrived at the dock Monday morning, but area K has yet to be sampled. We anticipate having domoic acid results in both areas K and L by the middle to end of next week, in addition to meat quality results from industry requested market samples for areas J and K. 

ODFW plans to work towards a single opening, with a 30 day fair start provision, for the four southern Oregon crab harvest areas (I, J, K and L) until further notice. We have heard significant support on waiting to open these areas until the domoic acid issue in area L is resolved, if possible, and are not planning for a January 15th opening in the area south of Cape Arago. However, if California indicates that the Crescent City area may open on January 15th we plan to re-convene with industry advisors for additional input.

If sampling indicates that domoic acid persists above threshold levels in area L, ODFW will consult with industry regarding continuing to delay the season versus opening in early February under mandatory evisceration for the Biotoxin Management Area (areas L and K).

1/4 - Friday

Crab collected from Area L on December 29th, 2019 for domoic acid testing are below FDA criteria, representing the first clear test for this area. Another sample collection for domoic acid analysis is currently scheduled for Saturday January 5th, 2019 from Areas K and L, depending on weather. Results are anticipated on Wednesday January 9th, 2019.

ODFW will consult with industry advisors the week of January 7th to discuss the opening structure for the area south of Cape Arago pending results of domoic acid testing, including discussion of opening the area south of Cape Blanco under mandatory evisceration if the most recent domoic acid samples exceed threshold levels.

12/29 - Saturday

The results of the Long Beach meat recovery test are 27.9%, meeting the minimum criteria of 23% for areas north of Cascade Head, Oregon. Therefore, the commercial ocean Dungeness crab fishery north of Cape Arago, Oregon will open as provisionally announced on Friday, December 28th. Please see the industry notice above titled ‘Season Opening Industry Notice (posted 12/29/18)’ for details.

The season opening date south of Cape Arago will depend on further testing for domoic acid and consultation with the commercial crab industry.

12/28 - Friday

Washington was able to retrieve gear for the outstanding Long Beach test area today, and results are anticipated to be available on Saturday, December 29th. ODFW consulted with industry and WDFW today on these developments and has decided to proceed as follows:

IF the Long Beach test result is at/over minimum meat recovery criteria (23.0%), delay the previously announced season opening North of Cape Arago, Oregon, from January 3rd to January 4th. Under this scenario, gear setting would begin on January 1st and vessel hold inspections would occur on January 3rd.

IF the Long Beach test result does not meet the minimum meat recovery criteria, delay opening until January 15th, per the Tri State protocol. ODFW will consult with industry again on how to open the season under this scenario (date of consultation TBD).

This announcement supersedes the industry notice posted above titled ‘Season Opening Industry Notice (posted 12/21/18)’. An industry notice with detailed schedule, including for hold inspections, will be posted on Saturday, December 29th, pending results of the Long Beach test.

12/27 - Thursday

Washington was able to set gear for the outstanding Long Beach area test this morning, but was unable to retrieve the gear tonight as planned. Another attempt to retrieve the gear will be made Friday morning, but test results will not be available by Friday December 28th and will be delayed until at least Saturday December 29th. Therefore, the fishery North of Cape Arago, OR will not open on January 3rd.

ODFW will consult with industry and WDFW tomorrow, Friday December 28th, and decide to either adjust the previously announced opening date by a few days (for example open January 4th or 5th) or delay the season until January 15th.

12/26 - Wednesday

Washington was unable to retest the Long Beach area today due to weather conditions. WDFW will make another attempt to retest the area tomorrow, December 27th, with a shortened soak time in order to have results available on Friday, December 28th.

If the Long Beach area test is completed by December 28th and meets criteria, the area north of Cape Arago, OR will open on January 3rd.  See details in the industry notice posted above titled ‘Season Opening Industry Notice (posted 12/21/18)’.

12/21 - Friday

Washington’s attempts to retest the Long Beach area (which tested under criteria at 22.8% in round 2), have been unsuccessful due to extreme weather conditions. WDFW is attempting to re-test as soon as possible.

Tri-State managers met today and decided to set a provisional opening structure for the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season, to provide as much advance notice as possible for a season opening. If the Long Beach area test is completed by December 28th and meets criteria, the area north of Cape Arago, OR will open on January 3rd.  See details in the industry notice posted above titled ‘Season Opening Industry Notice (posted 12/21/18)’.

12/19 - Wednesday The round 3 of meat recovery results for the Coos Bay south and Port Orford areas are posted above. WDFW has indicated they are still trying to get a test boat out later this week or over the weekend to re-test their Long Beach area. We will update this page asap when we find out if a boat gets out to conduct a test, any additional test results and when a season opening structure is decided. Crab were also collected for domoic acid testing from crab areas K and L. All results are posted on ODA’s website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf.
12/12 - Wednesday

The third round of preseason testing is scheduled to begin as soon as weather allows.  Areas I, J, and K will be retested for meat quality. Crab will also be collected from K and L for domoic acid testing.

12/7 - Friday

Due to low meat recovery rates in multiple areas within the Tri-State region, in consultation with Tri-State managers and ODA, the opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab fishery is delayed at least through Dec 30th. Domoic acid has also been elevated in southern Oregon and northern California. See industry notice posted above for more details. The third round of testing is scheduled to begin the end of next week.

12/5 - Wednesday

The round 2 of meat recovery results from areas that did not meet criteria in round 1 are posted above. We anticipate a Tri-State decision and announcement by the end of the week pending domoic acid results (areas I,J,L,K), which will be posted when they are available on ODA’s website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf.

11/29 - Thursday

The second round of preseason testing has been delayed due to weather this week but boats from all areas are planning to try to get out in the next few days. Areas B, C, D, I, J, K and L will be retested for meat quality and we anticipate having the pickout results by early/mid next week. Crab will also be collected from K and L for domoic acid testing with results anticipated mid/late next week at this time.

11/20 - Tuesday The second round of preseason testing is scheduled to begin next week.  Areas B, C, D, I, J, K and L will be retested for meat quality. Crab will also be collected from K and L for domoic acid testing.

11/14 - Wednesday

Due to low meat recovery rates in the majority of Oregon’s harvest areas, as well as in California and Washington, in consultation with Tri-State managers and ODA, the opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab fishery is delayed at least through Dec 15th. Domoic acid has also been elevated in both Oregon and California in some areas. See industry notice posted above for more details. The second round of testing is scheduled to begin the week of Nov. 26th.

11/8 - Thursday

The first round of preseason testing was conducted coastwide this week. Crab were collected from all areas for both meat quality and domoic acid testing. The available meat quality results are posted above and the domoic acid results are anticipated to be available next week and will be posted on ODA’s website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf

10/26 - Friday

A second round of early preseason domoic acid testing in harvest areas 50-K and 50-L was conducted this week. There were elevated viscera results from area 50-L for a second test in a row. All recreational and commercial crab from Cape Blanco south to the Oregon/California border was closed last week https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2018/10_october/101918.asp.

All domoic acid results for crab are posted on ODA’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf.

The first full round of preseason testing for meat quality and domoic acid coastwide is scheduled for the week of Nov 5th.

10/17 - Wednesday

An early round of preseason domoic acid testing in harvest areas 50-K and 50-L was conducted this week. The domoic acid results from these crab will be posted on ODA’s website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/CurrentCrabBiotoxinData.pdf.

The first full round of preseason testing for meat quality and domoic acid coastwide is scheduled for the week of Nov 5th. We are still looking for volunteer vessels for the tests off most ports for round 1. If you are interested in volunteering to conduct preseason testing in your area please call Kelly Corbett at 541.867.0300, ext. 244.

 

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