Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lifted the ban after tests of crabs and other seafood showed “no ill effects from the fuel oil spill three weeks ago,” the Chronicle reported, but state fish and game officials are still warning residents to avoid mussels and oysters harvested in contaminated areas.
Schwarzenegger imposed the ban six days after the Cosco Busan freighter hit a Bay Bridge piling Nov. 7, spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel oil in the bay. Crabbing grounds more than three miles offshore remained open, but Bay Area crabbers opted not to fish, fearing that even the smallest contamination scare could ruin the season.
Here’s what the Fish and Game department had to say, from the Chroncile:
“We have been advised and have concluded that the fishery is safe and that all existing seasons can resume according to existing laws,” said John McCamman, acting director of the California Department of Fish and Game, announcing the end of the ban that began Nov. 13.”There is a possibility of residual oil remaining in the water, and it could remain over the next couple of months. We urge fishermen to use common sense. If it looks like oil and smells like oil and tastes like oil, you don’t want to eat it,” McCamman said.