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Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — The Dec. 1 commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 16 for the entire Oregon coast because testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield.

The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon can be delayed to ensure a high-quality product for consumers and to avoid wasting the resource, The World reported.

Crab quality testing in early November showed a number of the test areas did not meet the criteria for a Dec. 1 opening. The delayed opening will allow crabs to fill with more meat. A second round of crab quality testing will happen after Thanksgiving and results will be used to determine if the season should open Dec. 16.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.

Crabs were also tested for domoic acid along the entire coast, and samples were found to be safe for human consumption. However, due to elevated levels of domoic acid detected in razor clams in some areas, testing in Dungeness crabs will continue regularly north of Cape Perpetua, officials said.

Dungeness crab wait for packing and shipping at Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston in this 2019 file photo. State shellfish managers have delayed the start of the commercial Dungeness crabbing season along the entire Oregon coast until at least Dec. 16, because of lack of meat on the crustaceans. Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard via AP, File