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ODFW Crab Update

Oregon Ocean Commercial Dungeness Crab Permit Holders and Interested Persons, In partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission (ODCC), the third round of Oregon preseason Dungeness crab quality and domoic acid testing was conducted December 14-15th, with sampling in Oregon areas I/J and K for meat quality and sampling in area K and L for domoic acid. The minimum meat recovery rates to be met in each test area are 23% north of Cascade Head (no rounding allowed) and 25% south of Cascade Head (rounded to the nearest integer).

Both areas in Oregon did not meet recovery criteria, see back for all meat recovery results. Washington’s attempts to retest the Long Beach area (which tested under criteria at 22.8% in round 2), have been unsuccessful due to extreme weather conditions. WDFW is attempting to re-test as soon as possible.

Tri-State managers met today and decided to set a provisional opening structure for the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season as follows, based on these results and to provide as much advance notice as possible for a season opening:

IF WDFW is able to re-test the Long Beach area and have results by December 28th and the test meets 23% meat recovery criteria, then the area north of Cape Arago (43º 17' 00" N. Lat.) to the OR/WA border will open as follows:  73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): December 31, 8:00AM  Hold Inspections: January 2, schedule will be posted when we get results  Start date (pulling gear): January 3, 9:00AM The area from Cape Arago south to Gold Beach (Oregon harvest areas I, J, and K) currently are below meat quality criteria.

The area from Cape Blanco to the Oregon/California border (Oregon harvest areas K and L) also remain closed due to persistent domoic acid detected in the viscera of crab. If there is an opening on January 3, we will consult with industry and consider management measures to open the remaining areas in Oregon simultaneously.

IF WDFW is not able to retest the Long Beach area in time to have results by December 28th or the Long Beach area does not meet the 23% meat recovery criteria the presumed next opening would be on the default season opening date of January 15th, from the area north of Cape Blanco (42º 50' 00" N. Lat.) to the OR/WA border.

However, the Tri-State Committee has agreed to have another discussion relative to a final decision on the season opening date if testing is further delayed. We will continue to post all updates for this season’s opening structure, including status updates regarding Washington’s re-testing of the Long Beach area, to our ‘Crab Season Opening Weekly Updates’ webpage at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/commercial/crab/season_weekly_updates.asp.

Fair start provision reminders: Fair Start provisions will be in place for all delayed areas in Oregon. A vessel used for fishing crab in any open zone within the Tri-State management area (from WA/Can border south to Point Arena, CA) may not be used for fishing crab in any other zone within the Tri-State area that opens at a later date until 30 days after the later opening date.

Vessel Hold Inspections reminders: Vessels must obtain a hold inspection prior to participating in the fishery for the first 30 days after opening. The vessel operator or owner must declare on the pre-season hold inspection certificate the zone in which the vessel will start fishing. Each inspection certificate must be signed by the vessel operator or owner, not by a crewman. We would like to thank everyone involved with preseason meat recovery and domoic acid testing efforts this year to help us ensure that Oregon Dungeness crab are of good quality and safe to consume.

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