SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California’s commercial Dungeness crab season is closing Monday, three months earlier than in past years, to protect whales and other marine life from nets and fishing gear.

The early closure stems from a settlement reached last month between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association.

The goal is to reduce danger to whales, sea turtles and other marine life, state officials said.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the state wildlife agency in 2017 after a spike in whale entanglements on the West Coast.

The season will officially close as of 11:59 p.m. Monday. All Dungeness crab commercial fishing gear must be removed from ocean waters and landings must be completed by the closure deadline.

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