The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) coordinates a routine monitoring program along the California coast to sample mussels and other shellfish like clams and scallops for the presence of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) and domoic acid toxins. Commercial shellfish harvesters are also required to provide weekly shellfish samples to CDPH for PSP toxin assay and domoic acid analysis. If toxin levels are high enough, warnings and quarantines are issued to protect the recreational fishing public and shellfish consumers.
CDPH also has a coastwide, monthly seawater monitoring program which detects the naturally occurring, microscopic algae that produce PSP and domoic acid toxins. When toxin levels begin increasing, CDPH may expand its mussel sampling effort to include other seafood species. If toxin levels increase quickly beyond the federal alert level for either toxin, then CDPH may immediately issue a health advisory for all potentially impacted seafood species in the affected region.
This web page was established as a source of information for fishermen and the fishing industry. When circumstances arise, CDPH warnings, quarantine information, and health advisories about consuming California's ocean finfish, shellfish and crustaceans will be posted here.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) also issues consumption advisories based on the amount of mercury or other chemical toxins found in finfish, shellfish and crustaceans. Safe eating guidelines to help you to reduce your exposure to chemicals in sport fish — fish that you and your family or friends catch — are also available from OEHHA.
Spiny Lobster Fisheries: Open and Closed Ocean Waters
- The recreational spiny lobster fishery is open statewide. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health to recreational hoop netters and divers to avoid consuming the viscera (tomalley) of spiny lobster from the commercial closure area (see below).
- The commercial spiny lobster fishery is open at north Anacapa Island and a portion of the southeast side of Santa Cruz Island, as of December 29, 2017. Specifically, the southeast side of Santa Cruz Island east of 119°40.000’ W.
longitude, west of 119° 30.00’ W, and south of 34°00.000’ N. latitude has been reopened (
see map). Otherwise, the commercial closure remains in effect in all state waters around the northeast end of Santa Cruz Island east
of 119°40.000’ W. longitude, west of 119° 30.00’ W, and north of
34°00.000’ N. latitude and south side of Anacapa Island east of
119°30.000’ W, west of 119°20.000’ W, and south of 34°00.000’ N
latitude. State waters extend three nautical miles beyond outermost
islands, reefs and rocks. This closure will remain in effect until state health agencies determine that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and recommend the fishery be opened, and the director of CDFW provides notification to commercial fishermen.
Read the CDFW Declaration of Fisheries Closure for the commercial spiny lobster fishery
Dungeness and Rock Crab Fisheries: Open and Closed Ocean Waters
Recreational Fisheries for Dungeness Crab and Rock Crab
Commercial Fisheries for Dungeness Crab and Rock Crab
- The commercial rock crab fishery is open south of Salt Point, Sonoma County (38°34’ N. lat.), as of January 16, 2018. The fishery closure north of Salt Point will remain in effect until state health agencies determine that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and recommends the fisheries be open, and the director of CDFW provides notification to commercial fishermen.
commercial Dungeness crab season north of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line (Fishing Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9)
opened at 12:01 a.m. on January 15, 2018.
The season opened at
12:01 a.m. on November 15, 2017 south of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line.
- Check this web page frequently, or call the Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883 for the most up-to-date information.
Razor Clam Fishery Closure