It’s time to get cracking.

Boats returned to Bay Area ports Wednesday with the first Dungeness crab haul of the season — after two months of delays. The Crown Royal was the first to arrive at San Francisco’s Pier 45, pulling in at 3:30 p.m. with a hefty load.

California’s traditional Nov. 15 season start first had been postponed to keep migrating whales from getting tangled in fishing lines, then was delayed by price negotiations between fleets and wholesalers.

Crab should be available at some S.F. and Half Moon Bay piers on Thursday and make it to Bay Area markets by Friday and Saturday, fishing associations say.

“Shoreside businesses, markets and communities that support the fleet are preparing to be ready as they start hauling gear on Wednesday and bringing crab to market,” the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association said.

Since 2015, there have been delays in all but one commercial Dungeness season.

A toxin, domoic acid, that could sicken anyone who eats the tainted crab destroyed Northern California’s 2015-2016 commercial season and created delays in other years.

In 2018, recreational crabbers had to postpone their fishing, but the commercial season began without a hitch.

In 2019, as with 2020, the fishing line danger to whales resulted in a crabbing delay of several weeks.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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