Dungeness Crab: Flexibility in the Face of Adversity

Since 2012, Strategic Earth has made an annual pilgrimage in October to Ukiah, California to facilitate the annual Dungeness Crab Task Force (DCTF) meeting. This year, things looked different as fires raged throughout most of the Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa Counties devastating homes, businesses, and lives.

Core to Strategic Earth’s philosophy is the importance of face-to-face conversations to build relationships and support robust discussions with the goal of reaching agreements. But as the October 16, 2017 meeting date approached, air quality concerns and road closures from the fires required an update in our planning:  Strategic Earth made the decision to hold a three-day DCTF conference call for the safety and well-being of all meeting attendees.  In a situation where there is no good option, erring on the side of safety is always the best bet.

On October 16, 2017, armed with lots of water and chocolate, we began the first day of a scheduled three-day meeting via conference call and webinar. The DCTF needed to discuss numerous fishery regulations that are scheduled to sunset in 2019, as well as other high priority issues like domoic acid. We were so grateful to have DCTF members join all three days worth of conference calls with an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Before we adjourned on the last day, participants expressed an amazing sense of astonishment that, while not ideal, the group was able to have a productive conversation and the timely issues could be thoroughly addressed prior to the commercial fishery opener.

Strategic Earth was appreciative of everyone’s willingness to try something different and encouraged by the DCTF’s ability rise to the occasion and develop a series of time-sensitive recommendations. The ability for everyone involved to adapt to challenging circumstances was incredible – important traits for any successful fisherman!

To learn more about the October 16-18, 2017 DCTF meeting and their agreements, see the DCTF’s December 2017 legislative report: http://www.opc.ca.gov/webmaster/_media_library/2009/04/DCTF_LegReportDec2017_FINAL.docx.pdf