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Bodega Bay Crab Fishermen still in Limbo


Bodega Bay Crab Fishermen still in Limbo

Jim Kelly reports from the coast that crab were tested clean a couple of weeks ago which was followed up by a dirty test. Spots up and down the California coast are coming up with two clean tests so we will know soon if tests start coming in consistently clean. But until its consistent - no crab can be harvested.

In the mean time the Crab Disaster has become the headline topic at the February 11th Fisheries and Aquaculture hearing in Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown has asked our Federal Government to declare this a “Disaster” to qualify for low interest loans and funding, and re-training for those who want to take a different career path.

It's all very long-term in terms of relief so in the mean time the Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival has donated $10,000 to our local crab ishermen, Spud Point Marina continues to take food donations, and Sonoma County Regional Parks fundraising effort continues to help fishermen survive losses estimated at nearly $50 million this season. None of this loss takes into account the losses to local restaurants, hotels, tasting rooms, gifts shops etc. for people who are not coming to the coast because they can't get crab.



Bodega Bay Fisherman Festival Makes $10,000 Donation to Local Bodega Bay Fisherman

Due to the closure of Crab Season the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival Executive Board unanimously approved a $10,000 donation to the Spud Point Fishermen’s Assistance Fund. This money comes out of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival reserve account.

The announcement was received with cheers and applause at the Fish Fest General Meeting. The Board hopes that all of you and the organizations that you belong to will do what you can to support our fisherman. To Donate Now: Go to: Click on the "Donate Now" button on the home page. The "Donate Now" button will take you to a page where you can choose to designate the donation to the “Spud Point Fishermen Assistance Fund”

About Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival: The Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival is a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit charitable organization and is 100% volunteer-run by local community. All proceeds from the Festival benefit Bodega Bay Area community services and in 2015 the Fisherman’s Festival distributed $66,000 to 22 local non-profits and local scholarships. The Bodega Bay community will host its 43rd Annual Fisherman’s Festival APRIL 9-10 2016. The Festival is packed with events for people of all ages – craft booths, live music, good food, entertainment and more. A favorite attraction is the wine tasting booth featuring more than 25 Sonoma County wines and a beer booth with several local ales. Plus we have something for every palate from barbecued oysters, local fish ‘n chips, clam chowder and a variety of food trucks. Live music and entertainers perform on the main stage all day Saturday and Sunday. Artisans and vendors from all over California and beyond offer a wide selection of arts and crafts. The festival has its origin as a celebration of the start of the Salmon fishing season and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Each year’s theme is chosen by the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association. At the Festival site itself you’ll see a wooden boat challenge where participating teams build a vessel and compete in a boat race. Sunday morning will feature the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet when decorated boats parade out of the harbor to receive a blessing from local clergy.




Crab disaster will headline Thursday’s Fisheries Hearing- Fisheries experts from throughout California to testify at annual forum

Senator Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will convene the 43rd annual Fisheries Forum this Thursday, focusing on the need for a crab season disaster declaration and will call on several industry experts and state agency leaders to discuss the short and long term impacts to fishing families, the California coastal economy and the future of fisheries and aquaculture.

“There is no greater issue right now impacting California fisheries more than the unprecedented delay of this year’s crab season,” said Senator Mike McGuire. “It’s time that a disaster is declared so we can start delivering desperately needed assistance to fishermen, their crews, and local businesses who are struggling. Fishermen are losing homes, racking up debt they can’t afford, and selling off assets, and the impacts are even greater in coastal towns that depend on a healthy crab harvest for their livelihood.”

The 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum, scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at the State Capitol, will include presentations from John Laird, California’s Natural Resources Secretary, and Charlton Bonham, Director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as commercial and recreation fishing representatives, river advocates, aquaculture producers and fish processors.

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol. The public is welcome to attend. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the State Senate’s website at

The agenda also includes a ceremony to honor longtime fisheries advocate Zeke Grader, a briefing on the harmful West Coast Algal Bloom, a crab fisheries update, salmon fisheries presentations, and aquaculture reports.

The list of speakers includes:

  • John Laird – Secretary, Natural Resources Agency      
  • Charlton Bonham – Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Dr. Clarissa Anderson – Assistant Research Faculty, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Rachelle Fisher – Administrative Team, California Dungeness Crab Task Force       
  • Tim Sloane – Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations       
  • Lori French – President, Central Coast Women for Fisheries       
  • Don Marshall – Board Member, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  • Dr. Walt Duffy – Chair, California Advisory Committee on Salmon & Steelhead Trout        
  • Mike Ricketts – Chair, California Salmon Stamp Committee        
  • Errin Ramanujam – Associate Scientist, Ocean Science Trust       
  • Randy Lovell – Aquaculture Coordinator, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Aquaculture Development Committee
  • Dave Bitts – President, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations       
  • John McManus – Executive Director, Golden Gate Salmon Associatio
  • Tony Vaught – Director, California Aquaculture Association        
  • Dr. Michael Graham – Director of Research & Development, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Center for Aquaculture        
  • John Finger – Owner/Partner, Hog Island Oyster Compan
  • Pete Halmay – Board Member, San Diego Fishermen’s Working Group        
  • Shad Catarius – President, San Diego Oceans Foundation        
  • Ben Platt – Board Member, California Salmon Council         
  • Bob Bertelli – Vice-Chairman, Sea Urchin Commission         
  • Dave Rudie – President, California Fisheries and Seafood Institute

Sitting on the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture with Chair McGuire are: Vice Chair Assemblymember Jim Wood, Senator Jerry Hill, Senator Jim Nielsen, Senator Fran Pavley, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, Assemblymember Philip Ting, and Assemblymember Das Williams.

For more information about the Fisheries Forum visit the Committee web site at: