Tuesday, 31 January 2023

CDFW announces a statewide fleet advisory for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW, is issuing a statewide fleet advisory for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery due to a recent humpback whale entanglement, approximately 5 miles west of Cypress Point near Monterey Bay (Fishing Zone 4).

The entanglement was first reported in late January involving heavy line from unknown fishing gear and CDFW is encouraging the commercial fleet and all mariners to be on the lookout for any entangled whale in this area and across California waters.

If anyone sights an entangled whale, do not approach, or attempt to disentangle, but please immediately report it to the U.S. Coast Guard or call the Entanglement Reporting Hotline at 877-SOS-WHAL or 877-767-9425.

Based on recent surveys and historic migration patterns, overall entanglement risk remains low across California waters. CDFW is however issuing this Fleet Advisory for all fishing zones and reminds all in the commercial and recreational fisheries to implement best practices, as described in the Best Practices Guide. California is leading the way on the West Coast in its efforts to minimize risk of entanglement in our commercial fisheries.

“These efforts are supported by a strong collaboration with the fishing community, partner agencies and scientific advisors,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We appreciate this ongoing collaboration and are committed to protecting our natural heritage while providing fishing opportunities to the citizens of California.”

For a map of all fishing zones, see here. For more information related to the risk assessment process, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page or more information on the Dungeness crab fishery, please visit CDFW’s Crab page, including FAQs for the 2021-22 season of the commercial fishery and FAQs for the new recreational crab trap regulations.

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