Product #: 52528L
Scientific Name: Chionoecetes opilio
Country of Origin: BS
Harvested from the warm waters of Florida, this crab yields only one claw per catch. Stone crab is off limits for six months out of the year and is a strongly managed species. Best fresh - be sure to check on availability when ordering.
Stone crabs are found in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean from Texas to the Carolinas.
Stone crab fisheries are unique and typically sustainable. In most places, the larger claw is removed and the crab is returned to the water. If done properly the claw will regenerate in a few years. The population in Florida, where most commercial harvest occurs, is stable but there is more fishing effort (more traps) than is needed to harvest the appropriate amount of crabs. Regulations include a minimum size limit on claws, a six month seasonal closure, a prohibition on harvesting claws from egg bearing females, trap design specifications, harvest allowed during daylight hours only, and permit requirements. Florida has also implemented a trap reduction program to eventually bring the number of crab traps down to a more suitable level. Crabs should never have both claws removed at the same time, because this leaves the crab defenseless and unable to feed itself, increasing the likelihood of mortality. Stone crabs are harvested with pots or traps, which usually have minimal impacts on the environment, including habitat and bycatch.
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