As closures related to harmful marine toxins continue to plague Oregon’s lucrative commercial Dungeness crab fishery, new rules are under consideration that will help state fishery managers trace crab after it is caught and respond with more flexibility.
In April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider making permanent several rules introduced this crab season. A related bill is working its way through the Legislature.
Right now, large swathes of the coast can get closed down due to high levels of toxins like domoic acid. The rule changes would narrow the areas to be closed if there is an increase in toxin levels, based on records that may be required as a result of the bill. It would also allow for more flexibility in evisceration orders, like the one in place along a portion of the southern coast where only crab with their guts removed can be sold.
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