ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dungeness Crab: A Missing Holiday Tradition

Updated on December 29, 2015

One food that is missing from food distribution in Chicago is Dungeness crab, a common delicacy eaten around the holidays. The culprit, a Scrooge-like algae with a deadly toxin, has caused an indefinite delay in Dungeness crab season along the West Coast.

Algae and Domoic Acid: a Deadly Combination

This Dungeness crab season has been put on indefinite hold due to an algae bloom caused by a warming Pacific Ocean. This warming can be blamed on El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern that causes currents within Pacific Ocean to warm. Because of the algae bloom, crab fisheries from California to Washington state have been shut down. El Niño combined with the Pacific Warm Anomaly have raised coastal temperatures as high as nine degrees Fahrenheit. This warm water combined with sunlight caused algae to bloom. The algae produces domoic acid that is a neurotoxin that can kill both mammals and birds when eaten. It appears to not affect shellfish and can accumulate in crab meat during algae blooms.

Imported Crab and Other Substitutes

At Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, buyers can still purchase Dungeness crabs, but they are imported. Some community crab feeds are still going on, but with substitutes such as tri-tip steaks; other community crab feeds have simply canceled. In the hopes of continuing the tradition, seafood distributors are still offering high-quality frozen crab or "refreshed crab." Refreshed crab is frozen crab from the previous season. While not as desirable as fresh crab, it can make a difference between a crab feast, and no crab at all. Some parts of Washington are open to crab fishing, which means that buyers may be able to purchase Dungeness crab from this season.

Why Dungeness Crab?

Dungeness crab has always been an inexpensive alternative to King crab. With the shortage of Dungeness crab, prices have increased and the alternative, King crab, can cost nearly eight times more, if the buyer wants the crab legs fresh. Dungeness crab is considered to be sweet and delicate to the taste — something that customers look forward to around the holiday season.

Dungeness Crab Shortage

Has the Dungeness crab shortage affected you?

See results

Good News on the Horizon

If there is good news about the Dungeness crab shortage, it is that once the algae blooms situation is done and the crabs flush the toxin from their systems, there will still be crabs for the next crab season. In fact, it is likely that the crabs will get bigger. So with a little patience, crab lovers will be able to have their Dungeness crab for the next holiday season.

Sources

http://www.sacbee.com/food-drink/article46064390.html

http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/After-Dungeness-crab-poisoning-is-drinking-water-6695092.php

http://tdn.com/lifestyles/oregon-continues-delay-of-dungeness-crab-season-coastwide/article_a9c899e5-a8e5-5922-856b-15b26d4cf40f.html

http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Crab-feeds-without-crustaceans-Fishery-closure-6697930.php

http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/hab/habs_toxins/marine_biotoxins/da/

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)