CALIFORNIA — On Wednesday, November 5, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the postponement of crab season in the state from Sunday, November 15 to Tuesday, December 1.

Reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the delay came after biologists discovered numerous endangered whales in fishing zones.  Twenty-five whales were found in the Monterey Bay Area while 50 were found off the San Francisco coast. In recent years, there have been more whales in fishing zones that have either been injured or dead.

Additionally, the delay came due to new rules from November 1 that gives California the power to close some fishing areas if there are sea turtles and/or whales in the area.

Director of the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Charlton H. Bonham, stated that “while no one wants to delay the season, CDFW and the Working Group feel a delay is necessary to reduce the risk of entanglement.”

This is not the first time that crab season has been delayed; last year, crab season was delayed for the exact same reason.  In 2019, it was delayed for a month.  This year, the delay is currently 16 days.  In mid-November, the department will view whether crab season will have another delay or not.