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Feds Offer Help To Crab Fishermen Affected By Long-Delayed Season

HALF MOON BAY (KPIX 5) – Help has arrived for local fishermen and other people, devastated by the long delay in the Dungeness crab season.

With the commercial crab season still in limbo, Jim Anderson is now fishing for options. Starting Thursday at Pillar Point Harbor, the Small Business Administration is offering one-on-one sessions to help fishermen and anyone else affected by the crab season delay, like restaurants and stores, with low-interest loans.

The SBA will crunch Jim's expenses, and will offer a loan at a four percent APR, to help cover housing, food, gas, whatever he needs to stay afloat.

"Slip fees or haulouts. Do I have the some money to make sure I got enough fuel in the boat to go out salmon fishing? It's nice to have that in the back of my mind and whether or not I want to deal with them and take the loan out," Anderson told KPIX 5.

The 2015-16 crab season has been delayed since November, when crabs began testing positive for domoic acid all along the Pacific coast. It's a naturally occurring toxin that can cause severe cramps and vomiting, to the worst case, death.

After months of waiting, the recreational sporting season has opened up, but tests are still out for the commercial season. And even if commercial crabbing is cleared, will anyone dare to eat it?

Anderson said it's better to get the loan paperwork going now, before it's too late.

"It's better from my point of view to look into it and apply for it and see," he said. "Because we don't when we are gonna open you just don't know how long away from now we're not going to have any income."

The SBA will be at Pillar Point Harbor on Thursday and until 1 p.m. on Friday.

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