Crabbin' Time Resumes For Central Oregon Coast

Feb 13, 2017

Restrictions on Dungeness crab harvesting along the Central Oregon Coast have been lifted by state officials.  

Dungeness crab being gathered for commercial dining.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Kelly Corbett is with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  She says initial testing of crab samples showed high levels of domoic acid, which closed both commercial and recreational crabbing earlier this month.

“And why that’s important is because domoic acid can cause illnesses in humans," Corbett tells KLCC.  "So the restrictions were put in place until those levels dropped, and they have. 

"Domoic acid’s a naturally-occurring toxin that’s produced by marine phytoplankton.   And there’s research being done that’s looking into what’s increasing that marine phytoplankton to grow and bloom during certain seasons.”

Officials say despite the closure, crab sold in fish markets, grocery stores, and restaurants are safe.  For home kitchens, they say it’s important to remove all internal organs before cooking.