Dungeness Crab Task Force

The Dungeness Crab Task Force (DCTF) is a legislatively-mandated advisory body that reviews and evaluates Dungeness crab fishery management measures and provides recommendations to the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the Fish and Game Commission (FGC).

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is designated as the body responsible for convening and administering the California Dungeness Crab Task Force (DCTF) pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 8276.4. Senate Bills 1690 (Wiggins, 2008) and 369 (Evans, 2011), and 1310 (McGuire, 2018) have amended this Fish and Game Code section.

The composition of the DCTF, as described in Fish and Game Code Section 8276.4, is comprised of various members, including commercial and recreational fishermen, a member representing commercial passenger fishing vessel (CPFV) interests, crab processors, as well as non-voting members from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), California Sea Grant and CDFW. The 17 commercial fishermen are elected by their peers from the same respective port complex and production level. The DCTF is directed to review and evaluate Dungeness crab fishery management measures and provide its recommendations to the JCFA, the CDFW, and the FGC.


Public Solicitation for Non-Commercial Fishing Seats Now Open!

Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is seeking nominations for the following non-commercial fishing representatives on the Dungeness Crab Task Force (DCTF):

  • Two voting (2) members representing crab processing interests
  • One nonvoting (1) member representing nongovernmental organization interests

If you are interested in representing crab processing or nongovernmental organization interests on the DCTF, please complete this brief two-page nomination form by June 1, 2021 at 5pm and email your completed form to Noah Ben-Aderet, Noah.Ben-Aderet@resources.ca.gov.

OPC staff will review nominees and recommend representatives for appointment to the Chair of the Ocean Protection Council, Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot. Recommendations will be based on experience and knowledge of the Dungeness crab fishery, experience with the DCTF, geographical balance, willingness and ability to effectively and respectfully collaborate among diverse perspectives, willingness and ability to represent others within their representative seat, and ability to consistently participate in DCTF meetings. OPC staff may contact nominees for brief interviews if needed. CDFW Law Enforcement Division will also contact nominees and determine if they are in good standing to represent the DCTF. Representatives are anticipated to be notified as soon as possible after June 1 and in advance of the next DCTF meeting planned for mid-October.

More information about DCTF appointments can be found below. The public solicitation notice is available for download here.


DUNGENESS CRAB FISHERY UPDATES: For links to the latest commercial and recreational Dungeness crab fishery information, please visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife crab homepage.




To stay informed about upcoming meetings and other DCTF related activities, sign up for the DCTF email list. Please direct all questions and comments to info@dungenesscrabtaskforce.com.

OPC Staff: Lindsay Bonito at lindsay.bonito@resources.ca.gov


Upcoming DCTF meeting materials, or the most recent DCTF meeting materials, are listed below. All previous DCTF meetings and materials are archived here.

DCTF Meeting #12 – March 17-18, 2021 – Teleconference


Upcoming DCTF Executive Committee meeting materials, or the most recent DCTF Executive Committee meeting materials, are listed below. All previous Executive Committee meeting materials are archived here.

Dungeness Crab Task Force Executive Committee Meeting – June 10, 2021

DCTF Executive Committee Meeting – February 26, 2021

DCTF Executive Committee Meeting – September 9, 2020 Cancelled due to lack of quorum



Legislatively-Mandated Reports


Other Reports

Additional DCTF Informational Materials


 All DCTF meeting are open to the public. Written public comment specific to a DCTF or DCTF Executive Committee meeting are requested a minimum of 24 hours in advance of a meeting. Comments should be sent to info@dungnesscrabtaskforce.com. Please review the DCTF’s guidelines for providing public comment to the Dungeness Crab Task Force. 

Additionally, if DCTF Members and members of the public are interested in submitting requests for agenda items to be considered and discussed at upcoming DCTF and/or DCTF Executive Committee meetings, please review these Guidelines to Submit Requests DCTF & Executive Committee Agenda Items.

Comments and Proposals – Submitted by DCTF Members

  • Click here to read written proposals and comments by DCTF Members

Comments – Public and Agency

  • Click here to read written proposals and comments submitted for the DCTF’s consideration



Cracked Crab_Rachelle Fisher


The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) carry out DCTF commercial fishing elections as described in Fish and Game Code Section 8276.4. Commercial fishermen are elected to the DCTF by their peers to represent their home port complexes and production level. DCTF elections shall be held every three years in each port, on a staggered basis across ports.

The results of the 2020 DCTF Commercial Fishing Elections are available in the Current DCTF Member List. Future election processes are anticipated to follow a similar process as described below.

DCTF Election Process and Timelines
Elections are generally carried out with two separate mailings:

  1. Mailing #1: Nomination Form: All valid California Dungeness crab permitholders receive a form in the mail to nominate individuals for the DCTF.
  2. Mailing #2: Ballot: Ballots are compiled from the list of nominees. Permitholders from Half Moon Bay, Bodega Bay, Eureka, and non-resident California Dungeness crab permitholders will receive a ballot in 2020. Votes tallied from these ballots will determine the members who serve on the DCTF representing these port complexes.

2020 DCTF Election Documents:

Nomination Forms were due by Friday, March 6, 2020. 


Group 1 Ports: Next DCTF Elections in 2022
If your vessel’s registered home port is in any of the following port complexes, you are eligible to vote in the Group 1 DCTF elections in 2019, 2022, 2025, and 2028:

  • Crescent City (includes all California ports north of Trinidad)
  • Trinidad
  • Fort Bragg (includes all ports in Mendocino County)
  • San Francisco (includes ports from within San Francisco Bay)
  • South of Half Moon Bay (includes all ports from Monterey Bay south)

Group 2 Ports: Next DCTF Elections in 2023
If your vessel’s registered home port is in any of the following port complexes, you are eligible to vote in the Group 2 DCTF elections in 2020, 2023, and 2026:

  • Eureka (includes Shelter Cove and all ports within Humboldt Bay)
  • Bodega Bay (includes Bolinas and all ports within Tomales Bay)
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Non-resident California Dungeness crab permitholder (includes all out of state vessel port registrations designated as Unknown)



Section 8276.4 of the Fish and Game Code states that seven members are appointed to the DCTF by the Chair of the Ocean Protection Council following a public solicitation for nominations. These seven members represent sport fishing, crab processing, commercial passenger fishing vessel, nongovernmental organization interests, and are as follows:

  • One voting (1) and one nonvoting (1) member representing sport fishing interests.
  • Two voting (2) members representing crab processing interests.
  • One voting (1) member representing commercial passenger fishing vessel interests.
  • Two nonvoting (2) members representing nongovernmental organization interests.

Those appointed to represent non-commercial fishing seats following the 2019 public solicitation process are included in the Current DCTF Member List.

The DCTF also includes nonvoting representatives from CDFW and California Sea Grant. Two nonvoting (2) members representing CDFW are appointed by CDFW. One nonvoting (1) representative of University of California Sea Grant is appointed by University of California Sea Grant.

MLMA Lessons Learned Project

The Marine Life Management Act Lessons Learned (MLMA LL) project is now complete.  The effort was jointly sponsored by the OPC and the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) in cooperation with the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

This project  evaluated the performance of the MLMA to date and provides recommendations to improve future MLMA efforts. This page is intended to serve as a public resource for the project.


MLMA LL Project Team: The project was contracted to a multi-disciplinary team that included: J. Michael Harty [Project Manager], John Kirlin, Susan Iudicello, Michael Healey, DeWitt John, and Ralph Larson. The OPC project manager is Valerie Termini, and Craig Shuman is the project lead for the Commission.


Project Components: The project has completed two draft reports:

  • A description of MLMA implementation (Task 1); and
  • An evaluation identifying lessons learned (Task 2) and making recommendations for improving future implementation (Task 3).

Both reports are available in draft form through this web page for public review.  

Public Outreach and Input: The project depends on effective outreach to people knowledgeable about a broad range of MLMA issues. The MLMA LL team will tap into this knowledge in a variety of ways. Interviews with knowledgeable individuals and groups will be one part of their approach, along with review of documents, statutory language, and other resources.  

Project Schedule and Key Project Activities: The project began January 1, 2009 and is scheduled to last approximately one year. The MLMA LL team will be planning their approach, reviewing background information, developing a list of key issues, and identifying key stakeholders during the initial phase. Interviews will begin in early spring and continue during the year based on project needs.


Project Documents:


Background Documents and Popular Resources:


Contact the MLMA LL team: To contact the LLT, please send an email to this address: MLMALL@scc.ca.gov.


Spiny lobster - Craig Shuman