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Dungeness Crab Season Closing Early to Protect Whales

Whale-y Good News: Crab Season Closes Early on April 15th for Humpback High-Five
By - posted 3/31/2023 No Comment

Soon you’ll have to pause your crustacean craving as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) this week announced that the commercial Dungeness crab season needs to end early, needs to close up shop early on April 15, 2023.

While this may sound like crabby news to some, it’s for a good cause.

The humpback whales are making their way back to California’s coast for some fine dining of their own, migrating past our coast each year. Last year during this time, some of them got tangled in the crab fishing gear, so the CDFW decided it’s best to avoid a déjà vu and make sure all the commercial crab traps are removed to give these gentle giants a clear path.

While the commercial Dungeness crab season is closing early from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to the U.S./Mexico border, recreational crab fishing is still allowed north of Santa Barbara county, but may be subject to a future trap restriction when humpback whales return to forage during the spring and summer.

So if you like eating crab, this may not be the best of news, but at least we’ll be giving our humpback friends a warm (and tangle-free) welcome back to the California coast!