State Sen. Mike McGuire will host a hearing in San Francisco Nov. 28 to report on and look into the Dungeness crab fisheries and issues o f whale entanglement off the north coast.
McGuire chairs the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Agriculture. Assemblymember Mark Stone is the vice chair. The two will start the hearing with a status report on the Dungeness crab season and forecasts for ocean conditions and predictions about domoic acid levels.
“For several years now, California’s crab fishery has been on the brink of disaster due to high domoic acid levels in our ocean, and at next week’s hearing we’ll be taking a look at the current ocean conditions and how they’re impacting the crab fishery,” McGuire said. “We’ll also be discussing progress made from the critical legislation passed to protect California’s majestic whale populations from entanglement and other issues impacting whales including commercial ship strikes, which is a growing concern.”
The two will also speak about the efforts of several state and private organizations to protect whales from entanglement in fishing gear.
According to a report from McGuire’s office, the meeting will bring in top experts on Dungeness crab and whale entanglement. Speakers include Deborah Halberstadt, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for oceans and coastal policy, and Charlton Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A full list of presenters will be released later.
The hearing will take place 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Aquarium of the Bay in the Farallon Room, Pier 39, The Embarcadero and Beach Street, San Francisco.