The last remaining California Department of Public Health advisory for Dungeness Crab was lifted Friday after testing showed “the amount of domoic acid has declined to low or undetectable levels in Dungeness crabs caught in the area, indicating that they are safe to consume.”

The lifted advisory applies for areas between the Klamath River and the Oregon Border, in Del Norte County.

However, commercial crab fishers will still have to wait until Jan. 15 to start hauling in crab.

While domoic acid levels may vary, consumers should always follow these best preparation practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure.

According to the DPH, the best way to reduce risk are to remove the crab viscera and rinse out the body cavity prior to cooking, or boil or steam whole crabs, instead of frying or broiling, and discard the viscera and cooking liquids.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood.

Commercial season

According to a release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the new opening date is due to a recent 15-day delay since crab had not reached the minimum meat criteria established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee.

“The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Jan. 15, 2018, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2018,” the release states. “This is the last delay the Director can issue due to Dungeness crab quality testing.”

DFW reminds fishers that no crab shall be taken during the closure.

“In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside (these) Districts is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in (those) Districts, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas as outline in California’s Fair Start Provision,” the release states.

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