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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Commercial Crabber|Fined for Overfishing

SAN MATEO (CN) - California wants a Washington state seafood company fined for the nearly two tons of dead Dungeness crabs it had to dump from a 17-ton haul: far more "dead loss" than can lawfully be taken even with a permit.

A California Fish and Wildlife warden found defendant Pacific Dream's commercial fishing boat, the Renard, unloading crab caught in or around Half Moon Bay on Nov. 23, 2014.

The captain showed a Dungeness Crab Vessel Permit and acknowledged the dead crabs came from his ship.

The warden found 3,850 lbs. of dead crabs and 31,436 lbs. of live crabs.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife said that "'dead loss' is typically much less than this amount and the dead crabs constituted unlawfully causing or permitting the waste of fish or taking more fish than can be used without deterioration, waste or spoilage."

The state seeks fines for unfair competition, violations of the California Business and Professions Code, and the California Fish and Game Code.

In more crab news, the California Department of Public Health on Nov. 3 last year warned people not to eat crabs caught north of the Ventura-Santa Barbara county line because of unsafe levels of domoic acid caused by a massive coastal algae bloom fueled by El Niño.

The California Fish and Game Commission delayed the start of commercial Dungeness crab season, which normally opens in early November, and ordered it to remain closed until the state determines the levels no longer pose a risk to public health.

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