Friday, March 31, 2023

Large Groups of Humpback Whales Foraging on California Coast Prompt Delay of Commercial Crab Season


The following is a press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

A humpback whale [Photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]

The recreational take of Dungeness crab using crab traps will be temporarily restricted statewide when the season opens on Saturday, Nov. 5 due to presence of humpback and blue whales and the potential for entanglement from trap gear. Recreational take of Dungeness crab by other methods, including hoop nets and crab snares, is not affected by the temporary trap restriction and is allowed statewide beginning Nov. 5, 2022. However, the deployment and use of crab traps in any recreational crab fishery (including rock crab) is temporarily restricted in all fishing zones until lifted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director. CDFW also reminds recreational crabbers to implement best practices, as described in the Best Practices Guide (PDF).

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery south of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line was scheduled to open on Nov. 15, 2022 in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6. However, the season opener has been delayed in those zones due to presence of high numbers of humpback whales (PDF) and the potential for entanglement.

“Based on recent surveys, large aggregations of humpbacks whales continue to forage in California coastal waters and allowing the use of crab traps would increase the risk of an entanglement,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We will continue to work with both the recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fisheries to protect whales and sea turtles while striving to maximize fishing opportunity. We appreciate the ongoing commitment by the fleet and the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to protect these incredible animals. These partnerships will continue to shape the future of both fisheries and we look forward to continuing the important work of providing fishing opportunity in the coming weeks.”

Prior to this determination, CDFW worked with a broad range of scientific partners, researchers, agencies and the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to collect and synthesize information regarding presence of humpback whales, blue whales and leatherback sea turtles across each fishing zone. Aerial and vessel-based surveys indicate aggregations of humpback whales and several blue whales are present statewide. Under triggers established as part of the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) regulations (PDF) for the commercial fishery as well as regulations for the recreational Dungeness crab fishery, the CDFW Director is required to implement a management action for these fishing zones to reduce marine life entanglement risk.

CDFW anticipates the next risk assessment will take place on or before Nov. 23, 2022, at which time the Director will re-evaluate the temporary recreational crab trap restriction and commercial fishery delay in Fishing Zones 3-6, as well as the need for any management actions for the commercial fishery in Fishing Zones 1 and 2. That risk assessment is expected to inform the potential for a statewide commercial fishery opener on Dec. 1 and the potential to modify the recreational trap restriction.

For more information related to the risk assessment process, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page or more information on the Dungeness crab fishery, please visit



  1. Do you know that there’s no way to create an account to post on this site and the only way to do so is to type a name, email, and website, which does post your comment but auto corrects it into gibberish you cannot edit?

    • Adrienne— I’m not sure if you’re mentally ill, vindictive, or both. Every comment on this article in the last 8 hours came from the same IP address. You’re now on moderation. If your comments are not specific to the news article, you’ll be banned.

      • I am not vindictive or mentally ill. Just trying to make you aware of a security risk on your site. Someone once posted as Adrienne space space Floreen with my channel and it came up with my picture as though I made it on rhbb, and obviously I can do the same as can anyone. Most modern websites require a Facebook or google account or something to prevent trolls. Ass I said when I commented using the name TROLL I shouldn’t have been able to do that. Many of the commenters on kyms site are the same person, it shouldn’t be possible to play Enders game in your comments or to impersonate people or be impersonated and I hoped you’d see this and change your site so nobody else could do it.

  2. I am sorry if I irritated you but kyms site and now yours is open range for trolls and anyone can promote trump or whatever they want under fake names and even argue with themselves with different accounts or pretend to be anyone and it’s BS. I wasn’t hoping to get me banned, I was hoping you I’d change the way your site worked so nobody could do what me/them did. Call me whatever names you want. I shouldn’t be able to argue with myself because the second using the next line in a song as the next name nor post as TROLL. Also I never said my name until you responded addressing me as it so now all of Humboldt knows it’s Adrienne Floreen lol thanks

  3. One of these trolls posted that they went to my YouTube channel and only saw videos saying the Earth was Flat and she responded to the troll saying I was likely severely mentally ill. I don’t think anyone watched my video. If anyone actually watched my videos where I said they Earth was Flat even for a few seconds is pretty clear I’m not serious and it’s a response to BS like covid vs Flat Earth and being called crazy. If you’re unaware which is likely because nobody who’s ever criticized me for being unvaccinated has ever asked me why I’m not, I have a heart condition that makes me at high risks for getting side effects as well as other conditions like a blood clotting disorder. I do not like being called awful things like crazy, a Flat Earther, or a Monster. Does that make me vindictive? Look I am just trying to help you people. This is Humboldt where everyone grows organic medical marijuana and Kym is pushing pharmaceuticals heavily. A lot of people are out off and a lot of people are banned under their real names. In 3 years no articles about women in Humboldt who have had their menstrual cycles devastated by various vaccines. Nothing but the official message. I’m representing the masses who are just fed up.

  4. If someone using a fake name said I actually thought the Earth was Flat because of those videos they are lying or trolling or didn’t watch them. Kym agreed and asked all of Humboldt to weigh in on my sanity. Did she watch them? There’s no way in hell you could think I really thought the Earth was Flat from that.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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