Bay Area’s commercial Dungeness crab season opens after delay – NBC Bay Area
After months of delays, the commercial Dungeness crab season in the Bay Area is finally underway.
The season, which has historically began in November, had been delayed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect migrating humpback whales.
It opened earlier Thursday in the Bay Area. Some crews were working into the night off Pier 45 in San Francisco.
“When it’s finally here, you’re like: ‘Oh my god!’ So, it’s super exciting but it’s a little overwhelming,” said crab boat captain Holly Fruehling.
There is one stipulation, the state is requiring fishermen to operate at a 50% trap reduction.
“When they’re expecting to have a certain volume and it gets condensed like that and they have to still pay their crew and their boat and all their overhead, it’s very costly,” Fruehling said.
Crews told NBC Bay Area that it’s a dangerous job but especially in inclement weather.
Fruehling and other fishermen will be finding a pocket in between big storms starting Friday to bring their pots up.
“Now, that we’re in a crunch mode and we’re waiting so long, a lot of us are going out there no matter what,” she said. “if it’s bad weather, that runs you out of sync and like today, I almost ran over my line for my buoy line.”
Safety is on the mind of Alex Goffo as well. He teaches others how to crab off piers, rain or shine.
“I always try and make sure that they have a safe distance from the edge. Also, the ground out here is a little uneven. So, you really have to kind of mind your p’s and q’s,” he said.