By Don Ford

BODEGA BAY (CBS SF) — It was big news last week when the state announced it was lifting a ban on crab fishing, but safety concerns are stopping some fishermen from setting any traps.

The commercial crabbing fleet in Bodega Bay is quiet. No one is preparing for the recently announced partial opening of this year’s long delayed crab season.

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“Well, we all want to go fishing but we want to make it safe for the public. We have a demonic acid problem this year,” Dan Kammerer, Skipper of FV Bernice said.

While some sections of the coast are open with crabs testing safe, other sections are not, and this worries professional crabbers who say the opening is premature.

“I would like to see them to keep the state closed until the whole state is clean. [It’s not now?] it’s not now. At this point, it is not,” Commercial Crabber Richard Ogg said.

The concern is that tainted crabs will move into the clear zones, lured into the area by traps and bait. If someone gets sick, the public backlash could be devastating.

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“It would be the chipotle situation all over again,” Ogg said.

It’s not just Bodega Bay crabbers who are speaking out.

“We had a conference call with every port on the coast who participates with the crab fishery, and the consensus is, to wait and not use the line in the sand theory,” Tony Anello, Owner of Spud Point Crab Company said.

Even with a buffer zone, the commercial crabbers feel it’s still just too risky until the whole California coast is completely safe.

Commercial crabbers are serious about their concerns and frustrations. They are presenting a letter to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Tuesday.

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