Economic and sociocultural impacts of fisheries closures in two fishing-dependent communities following the massive 2015 U.S. West Coast harmful algal bloom

In the spring of 2015, a massive harmful algal bloom (HAB) of the toxin-producing diatom Pseudo-nitzschia occurred on the U.S. West Coast, resulting in the largest recorded outbreak of the toxin domoic acid and causing fisheries closures. Closures extended into 2016 and generated an economic shock for coastal fishing communities. This study examines the economic and sociocultural impacts of the Dungeness crab and razor clam fisheries closures on two fishing-dependent communities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 36 community members from two communities impacted by the event – Crescent City, California and Long Beach, Washington.