California Crab Sampling Effort for Domoic Acid Testing Continues


Dungeness crab

Update – 11/17/2015  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) continues to coordinate with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and fishermen to collect another set of crab samples from all major ports in California to determine whether levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid in crabs is in decline. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Red Rock Crab

rock crabNote: In November, 2015 the recreational and commercial rock crab fisheries were closed due to high levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring biotoxin, in crab viscera and meat. For the latest information about harmful algal blooms and any crab season closures, visit the CDFW website.

The red rock crab may be found statewide in shallow coastal areas and in bays, on rocky or reef-type habitat.  They  range from the intertidal zone to depths of 300 ft. or more. Continue reading

Possible Delay of Nov. 7, 2015 Recreational Dungeness Crab Season Opener

Update 11/5/2015:

Commission Delays Opener of Recreational Dungeness Crab Season and Closes Northern Part of Recreational California Rock Crab Fishery (11/5/2015)

Emergency Crab Closure Recommended, Commission to Meet Thursday CDFW press release 11/4/2015

CDPH Issues Warning About Dungeness and Rock Crab Caught in Waters Along the Central and Northern California Coast CDPH press release 11/3/2015

Memorandum: Domoic Acid Threat to Public Health OEHHA Memorandum 11/3/2015

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is cooperating with other state agencies in the collection and testing of Dungeness crab for domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin produced by microscopic marine algae, to determine if eating sport-caught crab will be safe for the public when the season opens. Serious consideration is being given to delaying the recreational fishery opener on Nov. 7, 2015, but no decision has yet been made. CDFW will issue a press release immediately with more information, once a decision has been made. Continue reading

Don’t Forget the Scientific Collecting Permit!


Researchers catalog biodiversity at Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area in northern California.

Did you know that a scientific collecting permit (SCP) may be required for non-lethal research or educational activities, such as installing scientific equipment or conducting docent-led tidepool surveys for school groups? In fact, nearly all research and many educational activities carried out in California marine waters, especially in marine protected areas (MPAs), require this permit. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve

Off the coast of the densely populated Los Angeles metropolitan area resides one of California’s great wildlife treasures: the Northern Channel Islands.  Often considered the “Galapagos of North America” this small archipelago hosts one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Continue reading