“Don’t eat the Dungeness crab!” Health officials are warning Californian residents. The California Department of Public Health has deemed certain species of Dungeness crab and rock crab caught along the California coastline to be toxic, and potentially deadly, thanks to the unusually high levels of domoic acid found in the creatures.The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is closing all crab fisheries and recommending that Dungeness crab season be delayed for public safety reasons.
Dungeness crab season was originally slated to begin on November 15, but officials will not be taking risks.
“Delaying or closing the season is disappointing,” said Craig Shuman, marine regional manager of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which sets the dates for the season, told SFGate. “But public health and safety is our top priority.”
Toxic crabs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and headache for days on end, and worse symptoms can lead to hospitalization. No illnesses have been reported yet.