Commercial crab fishing along the West Coast has historically been pretty rough and tumble. Fights, sabotage and other dastardly deeds have been legend among the salts who wrangle on the high seas outside San Francisco.
But crabbers, who often regulate their own, believe the rules should be fair to small boat operators, who now frequently find themselves at a disadvantage. Larry Collins, the president of the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association, said California limits the number of crab fishing permits to about 600, but it does not limit the number of traps.
“We’re the last state that doesn’t have crab trap limits,” said Collins, who included Alaska and Canada in the list of places with trap regulations. “This bill is designed to stop the nuclear race of putting more and more and more traps in the water.”
The commercial crab season in California usually begins in mid-November or early December and ends in the summer. Only male crabs that are larger than 6 1/4 inches across the shell are legal.