Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press
Updated 5:00 pm CDT, Tuesday, March 26, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California crab fisheries will close for the season in April when whales are feeding off the state’s coast as part of an effort to keep Dungeness crab fishery gear from killing protected whales, officials announced Tuesday.
The April 15 closure, three months before the crab fishing season normally ends, is part of a settlement reached by the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The center sued the state agency in 2017, saying it was liable for a surge in entanglement of endangered whales and sea turtles because it oversees operation of the fishery on state and federal waters off California’s coast.
“This is a great victory for the whales and sea turtles that come to feed off the coast of California in very large numbers every single spring season,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney.