Oregon's Domoic Acid Scare Eases as Coos Bay Reopens Under Evisceration Order
Oregon agencies reopened a Dungeness crab harvesting area in Coos Bay that was closed last week after a single crab tested for elevated levels of toxic domoic acid. Fishermen and processors said the decision to completely close the area resulted in chaos, especially for those dependent on live buyers. However, a round of tests confirmed domoic that acid levels were below the minimum threshold that would trigger a closure. The closure order was lifted but an evisceration order remains in place. "Considerations for the removal of the evisceration requirement on crab harvested from the biotoxin management area will occur when there are two successive rounds of domoic acid test results all below 30 ppm in viscera," Oregon officials said in a statement.
Four McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco will test a crab sandwich item beginning today. The sandwich is made with snow crab that is blended with seasoned mayonnaise and diced celery. “We wanted to test our own take on the beloved crab sandwich,” Nick Vergis, McDonald’s Co-op President for the Greater Bay Area, said in a statement. “We’re excited for our customers to try it and share their feedback.” The Co-Op said if the product performs will they will launch the item to 250 McDonald's stores in the Bay Area.
In other news, the head of Samherji, Iceland’s largest fishing and fish processing company, has warned that the fishermen’s strike could lead to certain fish products disappearing from the shelves of major UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer. Both M&S and Waitrose are major buyers of Icelandic cod and haddock, much of it flown to the UK within a day or two of being caught. The length of the strike, now at three months and counting, is what is causing major concerns for buyers not just in the UK but also in the East Coast of the US.
Meanwhile, at their Seattle meeting Feb. 1-6, the North Pacific Fishery Management council focused on some of the structures at the core of fisheries management, reviewed catch share programs and looked for areas to tune up in both the halibut IFQ fishery and the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Today's story recaps some of the major themes from the meetings.
Finally, Maine's Department of Natural Resources will propose a lottery system to issue new fishing permits for the valuable elver fishery. Right now, entry into the fishery is closed, but current permit holders are getting older with about a dozen fishermen having exited the fishery in the last two years. “We’re all getting older and eventually we’re going to pass away,” Darrell Young, head of the Maine Elver Fishermen Association. “As people die off or give up or whatever, there will be a drawing.”
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