Trinidad Tidings: Fishing fleet, council protest crab closure

The Trinidad City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2019-08 “In Support of the Local Dungeness Crab Fishing Industry” at last week’s council meeting. 

Most of the 17 commercial crab fishermen and their crews were in attendance to voice dismay at the “abrupt closure of crab fishing” mid-season because of concerns over whales and turtles potentially being caught up in fishing lines.

Decades-long Trinidad fisherman Danny Cox spoke out on the unreasonableness of the order: “I have been fishing here for over 40 years and two whales have been entangled. We were able to set both of them free.” 

“Jumpin’ Jack” owner Tom Lesher, another veteran fisherman, said the order “cut our industry off at the knees” and that the order was given “without any notice” or representation by fishermen in the decision-making process.

Dennis Mayo and Susan Rotwein, both engaged in the “front line of adaptive fishing management,” said local fishermen take responsibility for practicing best methods and using the latest science in their operations and in caring for sea life and the marine environment. The crab fishermen said that over 60 local jobs and thousands of jobs from Crescent City to Fort Bragg were affected by the closure. 

A number of local residents spoke in support of the commercial fishermen, who requested that letters and phone calls of support to open spring crabbing to its normal season be sent to U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman, California Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, U.S. Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamila Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In other council business, Councilman Jim Baker’s resignation, due to family health matters, was accepted. Trinidad City Clerk Gabriel Adams said that notices would be posted inviting local citizens to apply for appointment to the vacant seat. 

Since Baker’s resignation is early in his four-year term (he was reelected to the council last November), a Council appointment can occur however, the candidate may have to stand for election either in November 2019 or November 2010 at a normal or special election. Those interested in the appointment should contact the city clerk at Town Hall.

The Short Term Rental Advisory Committee composition and responsibilities also were discussed. The council voted three to one (Mayor Ladwig, Councilmen West and Miller voting “aye” and Councilman Davies voting “no”) to pass the STR Resolution forming the committee, which consists of Planning Commissioner Kathleen Lake, Citizens-at-Large Dick Bruce and Dorothy Cox and STR representatives Johnna Kitchen and Jan Hunt. The committee will vote on a chairman for the committee, hold meetings, and report regularly to the council.

The council meeting was newly-hired City Manager Eli Naffah’s first opportunity to report to the council on his work.  He announced potential and on-going public works projects involving school crosswalk safety and road maintenance at Parker, Hector, Edwards and Galindo streets, all government grant supported, among other matters.

All Seasons Orchestra Spring Concert

The All Seasons Orchestra will perform on Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m. in Trinidad Town Hall. It’s a free concert, sponsored by the City of Arcata Division of Parks and Recreation, and featuring many familiar and skilled musicians. Vivaldi’s Spring, Mendelssohn’s Final’s Cave, selections from Oliver! and more will be on the program.

Email Patti at [email protected].


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