California Lawmakers: Feds Should Declare Disaster so Crab Fishermen Can Get Aid

Lawmakers from coastal California are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a federal disaster for the halted crab season.

State officials postponed the start of the season in November when high levels of domoic acid were found in crabs. The toxin is produced by a massive bloom of microscopic algae caused by warming ocean conditions.

Democratic Sen. Mike McGuire of Healdsburg says officials hoped the season could resume when algae levels fell, but they remain high. Now he says crabbers have missed the peak selling seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Chinese New Year.

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg says the fishing industry already had a tough year.

They said in a letter to Brown Monday that a disaster declaration would help crabbers access needed federal aid.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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