A photo of fresh Dungeness crab in plastic buckets.
Fresh Dungeness crab.

Commercial crab season delayed again, won’t begin until Dec. 15

Commercial crab fishing takes another hit as the season is delayed a second time.

The commercial Dungeness crab fishing season, an annual rite of fall in Monterey Bay, is now being delayed through Dec. 15.

It is the second delay of the season, which was originally supposed to open on November 15 — in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The first delay pushed the start date back to Dec. 1.

The delays are a result both of issues with crab meat quality and new regulations meant to prevent whale entanglements in crabbing lines, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Crab meat quality testing and subsequent delays have long been standard in the crab fishing industry. But regulations meant to prevent whale entanglements are new: California authorities can now ban crabbing if they see a large number of whales in a fishing area.