Between November 7th and 8th, the Bay Area saw an initial and completely erroneous report of 140 gallons of fuel oil dumped into the bay by the container ship Cosco Busan gush wildly up to a disgusting 58,000 gallons. While lawsuits and finger-pointing are pending, wildlife and beaches suffer and, following a decision made on Saturday afternoon, so does the crab fishing.
On November 10, commercial crabbers from Bodega Bay to Half Moon Bay voted to postpone the opening of the crab season, set to open Thursday, November 15th. Larry Collins, the president of the Crab Boat Owners Association, is quoted as asking for "the immediate closure" of commercial and sport crab fishing.
While I, for one, will sorely miss our traditional Dungeness crab Christmas Eve dinner, the crabbers will miss that essential income more, especially since the article mentions that we crabovores might be able to get our hands on Dungeness from the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, other fish, like salmon, might also be adversely affected by the oil spill.
Some salmon fisherman reported having no problems bringing in their boat's limit of salmon from an area 13 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. While the commercial salmon fisherman are seeing plenty of evidence of the spilled fuel on their way to their fishing grounds, at least a few of them think it will be safe for their customers to eat the fish they bring back from non-affected waters.
From the article: "Robertson had calls from worried customers Wednesday night. 'They wanted to know if I was still fishing and if it was OK to fish,' Robertson said. 'I told them it should be fine, if we fished out of the fuel.'"