Saturday, 09 December 2023

Fisheries hearing in San Francisco next week focused on whale protection efforts and state of the state on latest crab season

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Mike McGuire, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, or JCFA, and Assemblymember Mark Stone, Vice Chairman, are hosting a comprehensive hearing next week at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco.

They will kick off the hearing with a State of the State of the California Dungeness Crab Season, one of the oldest commercial fisheries in California, and what to expect on ocean conditions, domoic acid levels and crab quality in the months to come.

Then they will transition into the robust efforts the State, Crab Fleet and numerous environmental organizations have been laser focused on: Protecting the Golden State’s majestic whales from entanglement. The committee will also be focused on the impacts large ships have been having on California whale populations.

“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,” North Coast Senator Mike 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 hearing titled: “Protecting California’s Whales from Entanglement and Maintaining the Sustainability of the Dungeness Crab Fishery” will be held Wednesday, November 28 from 1 to 5 the Aquarium of the Bay – Farallon Room, PIER 39, The Embarcadero & Beach Street San Francisco, California.

The Committee has brought some of the nation’s top experts on the Dungeness crab fishery and those responsible for reducing whale entanglements together for one significant event next Wednesday. The Committee will also begin the investigation into commercial ship strikes and how it’s become a growing concern for California’s whale populations.

The agenda features presentations by agency leaders, scientists, commercial fishing representatives, non-governmental organizations, and environmental advocates.

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, headline this year’s list of speakers and presenters.

A final list of presenters will be released early next week.

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