California’s Dungeness season facing 2nd year of troubles

Imported Dungeness crabs are displayed for sale at Fisherman's Wharf, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in San Francisco. Wildlife authorities delayed the local Dungeness crab season and closed the rock crab fishery for most of California on Thursday, just days after warning of dangerous levels of a neurotoxin linked to a massive algae bloom off the coast. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Health officials are recommending delays for the commercial Dungeness crab season along a more than 200-mile stretch of Northern California.

Wednesday’s warning signals a second year of supply disruption along the West Coast for Dungeness because of toxic algae blooms. The crab is a staple on holiday tables for many.

Commercial crabbing for Dungeness was supposed to start Dec. 1. State health officials are recommending now that commercial crabbing from Humboldt Bay to Point Reyes be delayed indefinitely.

As many as half of Dungeness sampled in those areas tested over the limits for domoic acid. The toxin stems from algae blooms and can sicken and even kill consumers.

California health officials say Dungeness caught along another area north of the Oregon border test safe.

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