Acknowledging its importance to California’s economy and coastal communities
SACRAMENTO–Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) introduced AB 1797 to recognize the Dungeness crab – Metacarcinus magister – as California’s official crustacean, coinciding with its Opening Day, January 5. Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) is the principal coauthor and Assembly Members Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) and Gail Pellerin (D-Santa Cruz) are coauthors.
“The Dungeness crab is an iconic crustacean in California and one that has made a significant contribution to the economies of coastal communities in California and to those in the commercial fishing industry,” said Wood.
The industry supports fishing ports and bolsters retail and hospitality businesses, bringing patrons in to restaurants and inns. It is a key delicacy that is often at high demand when Californians ring in the New Year.
“We must recognize, however that the Dungeness crab industry is not without its challenges,” said Wood. “We need to ensure that the fishing industry, the ocean and its inhabitants are all protected.”
Both commercial and recreational fisheries for Dungeness crab exist in California, having slightly different seasons within the two distinct management areas, divided north and south by the Sonoma/Mendocino line.
“Maine has its lobster. Louisiana has its crawfish. Here in the Golden State, we love our Dungeness crab,” said McGuire. “Dungeness crab is one the oldest commercial fisheries in California and the fleet continues to be a driving economic force for coastal communities. I’m grateful to Assemblymember Wood for giving the Dungeness crab a crack at becoming the official crustacean of the Golden State. It’s a well-deserved recognition.”
“Let’s recognize the importance of the Dungeness crab to our state, to the commercial fishing industry and the communities that depend on its health and abundance,” said Wood.
# # #