Humpback entanglements bring halt to Dungeness crabbing

A humpback whale breaches off the coast of California, where they migrate between Baja California and the Arctic. Credit: Cheryl Strahl

California is halting commercial Dungeness crab fishing after two humpback whales were seen entangled in crab fishing gear.

“The past few seasons have been difficult for fishing families, communities and businesses, but it is imperative that we strike the right balance between protecting humpback whales and providing fishing opportunity,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton Bonham.

The season was scheduled to close April 8, as humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate north from Mexico’s Baja California, where they birth calves. They feed off the California coast in spring and summer before continuing to the Arctic.

Read more from the Associated Press.