SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Federal relief may soon be coming to Bay Area crab fishermen dealing with a long-delayed season after crabs tested positive for domoic acid.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) has introduced a bill dubbed the “Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act,” which would provide $138 million in aid to the crab industry.

The local crabbing industry has struggled since November, when crabs started testing positive for a toxin caused by algae blooms.

“We’re hoping to find a way to both have the secretary declare this as a federal disaster and to also provide this resource to the men and women who have been fishing for Dungeness crab and who have lost, really, a whole season,” Speier said Friday at an event in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

State officials said the impact of this year’s crab disaster has resulted in an estimated $48 million in losses to the industry as of last month.

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