Many Bay Area families bemoaned the loss of a holiday tradition this winter — Dungeness crab.

But for those whose livelihoods depend on catching, selling and serving that crab, this season has been particularly brutal.

The opening of commercial Dungeness crab season in California endured an unprecedented delay last November due to a toxic algae bloom along the West Coast that contaminated the Bay Area’s favorite crustaceans.

Toxic levels have since subsided enough for the recreational season to open, but commercial fishermen months later are still not allowed to catch crab, a ban that has financially impacted the hundreds of fishermen in the Bay Area. Fishing seasons are also important for San Francisco’s economy.

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