(Mendocino, CA) — Dungeness crab season in California traditionally begins in November and runs through late June. But this year it will end April 15th, from the Mendocino county line to the Mexican border. The move is to protect migrating humpback whales from being entangled in trap and buoy lines, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday. They say whales can drag the ropes around for months, leaving them injured, starved or so exhausted that they can drown. Officials say fifteen humpback whales were entangled in fishing gear off California last year. Crabbing will still be allowed in the waters off Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, and recreational crabbing will still be allowed.