California closes lobster fishery due to domoic acid

Published on
October 27, 2017

Due to “unhealthy levels” of domoic acid, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is closing the state’s commercial spiny lobster fishery.

The commercial closure includes all state waters around Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands east of 119° 40.000’ W. longitude, and west of 119° 20.000’ W. longitude. State waters extend three nautical miles beyond outermost islands, reefs, and rocks.

“State health agencies determined that spiny lobster near Anacapa Island, Ventura County and the east end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County had unhealthy levels of domoic acid and recommended closure of the commercial fishery,” CDFA said in a statement.

However, the recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide, with a warning from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to recreational anglers to avoid consuming the viscera (tomalley) of spiny lobster.

CDFW is coordinating with the California Department of Public Health and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to test domoic acid levels in spiny lobster to determine when the fishery can safely be opened.

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