AP NEWS
Click to copy
Click to copy

Environmental group says California crabbers harming whales

November 15, 2017
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a humpback whale entangled in fishing line, ropes, buoys and anchors in the Pacific Ocean off Crescent City, Calif. Rescuers freed the badly tangled whale July 18, 2017, after it had struggled for days against the weight dragging it to the ocean floor. An environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, wants the federal government to declare that California's crab fishing industry is dangerous to whales. The crabbing season opens Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Bryant Anderson/NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP Permit# 18786-01 via AP, File)
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a humpback whale entangled in fishing line, ropes, buoys and anchors in the Pacific Ocean off Crescent City, Calif. Rescuers freed the badly tangled whale July 18, 2017, after it had struggled for days against the weight dragging it to the ocean floor. An environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, wants the federal government to declare that California's crab fishing industry is dangerous to whales. The crabbing season opens Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Bryant Anderson/NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP Permit# 18786-01 via AP, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An environmental group wants the federal government to declare that California’s crab fishing industry is dangerous to whales.

The Center for Biological Diversity says it’s petitioned the government to rank the Dungeness crab fishery in the top category of concern for marine mammals. It wants restrictions on where and how much crabbing gear is used.

The crabbing season opens Wednesday.

The center says last year at least 19 humpback whales, two blue whales and one leatherback sea turtle were found tangled up in commercial crab gear off the West Coast last year and the figure has been rising in recent years.

Last month, the center sued the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, alleging it had failed to prevent unlawful entanglements of whales and other marine life.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.