West Coast fishermen are suing oil companies for climate change damages

Fishermen are still waiting for permission to catch Dungeness crabs off California’s northernmost coast this season — and they want oil companies to pay for the delay.

State officials have postponed the start of the commercial Dungeness crab season because of high levels of a neurotoxin called domoic acid. Similar closures have wreaked economic havoc on the industry in recent years.

The neurotoxin’s presence in the prized crabs has been linked to warming ocean waters, one of the many effects of human-caused climate change. That’s why the West Coast’s largest organization of commercial fishermen is suing more than a dozen oil companies, arguing they have knowingly peddled a product that threatens ocean life and the people whose economic fortunes depend on it.

The oil companies “engaged in a coordinated, multi-front effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge of those threats, discredit the growing body of publicly available scientific evidence, and persistently create doubt,” the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Assns. said in its lawsuit, filed last month.

Read the entire article at LAtimes.com