Recreational, commercial crabbing areas close in southern Oregon

BROOKINGS, Ore.– Recreational crabbing has been closed after tests indicated rising levels of the domoic acid in crab samples.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the closure of recreational crabbing and the establishment of a Biotoxin Management Zone for commercial crabbing from Cape Blanco to the California border.

Crab samples taken from the Brookings area indicate that levels of the marine biotoxin have risen above the action level.

Crabbing remains open and without restrictions along the remainder of the Oregon coast.

It is always recommended that crab be eviscerated and the guts, or butter, discarded prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, roux, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.

ODA and ODFW will continue to monitor domoic acid in crab from this area in the coming weeks. Two rounds of tests below the action level will be required to reopen the area for unrestricted crabbing.

For up-to-date recreational shellfish and crabbing information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline before fishing, at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at

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