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Dungeness Crab Season Not Looking Great

With Dungeness crab commercial season poised to commence next week (sport season opened last week), there is reason for concern that this year's harvest of the quintessential San Francisco crustacean may be a dud. While it may be too early to sound the formal alarms, things ain't looking good, folks:

1) From last week's Fishing Report: "Seems there was a commercial guy (the word "commercial" adds a type of legitimacy, you see) out "sampling" the ocean floor, and this nonsport dropped a pot at 30 fathoms and one at 40 and one at 50. The latest version of this story has less than 10 bugs in the shallow pot, 10 in the mid-depth gear and only two in the last trap. You're to interpret this as reason to worry." [Chron]

2) From local crabbers: "Is there supposed to be a good harvest this year? No. Crabs often show up as bycatch in the trawl nets, so far this year, not many are showing up." [Chowhound]

3) From the Department of Boats Crashing into Bridges: Oh, and there was that little 58,000-gallon oil spill in the Bay yesterday and while catching crabs from the Bay itself is illegal, crabbing boats have already said that the oil has floated into the Pacific, in the Gulf of the Farallones and up to Marin. No word how—if at all—the spill will affect the crabs (particularly, ahem, if there are none to begin with), but it can't help matters in this time of distress. [Chron]

Are you concerned about your crabs this fall? As always, your thoughts in the comments field or straight to us.

[Photo courtesy]

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