Bay Area crab fiends will rejoice to hear the news that health officials have declared local Dungeness crab safe, after a disastrous moratorium on crab fishing as a result of a toxic algae bloom. For now, only recreational crab fishing is allowed, while the decision to resume the commercial crabbing season is still pending from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
This crab news comes with a fun and "not scary at all warning," as health officials advise crab fans to remove the guts before cooking the crabs, boil or steam (rather than fried or broiled) and then discard their cooking water. That is despite reports that domoic acid levels (you know, the deadly neurotoxin) in crabs from the Bay Area are low enough not to concern officials.
While recreational crabbers are squeezing into wetsuits at this very moment, commercial fisherman aren't all as excited, having already focused their efforts on other catches, like the upcoming salmon season. Opening the season at this point, when fisherman are usually stowing their crab gear, doesn't appeal to all. Additionally, the news comes days after California Gov. Jerry Brown requested that the gov't declare this crab season a federal disaster, as a result of a $49 million loss for the fisherman.
Either way, there will be local crabs on menus around town in the very near future, so keep an eye out. (Here's last year's roundup of places with crab; stay tuned for an update)