SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The start of the commercial Dungeness crab season in California will be delayed to protect whales from becoming entangled in trap and buoy lines.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday it was delaying the start of the commercial season, which traditionally begins Nov. 15, for waters between the Mendocino county line and the border with Mexico.
“Based on recent surveys, large aggregations of humpbacks whales continue to forage in California coastal waters and allowing the use of crab traps would increase the risk of an entanglement,” Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham said in a statement.
The department said it plans to issue its next assessment on the presence of endangered whales on or around Nov. 23, when it will decide whether commercial Dungeness crab fishing can start.
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