Florida seeing disappointing stone crab season

It’s a troublesome vacation season proper now for fishermen within the Bay space.

  • Florida experiencing disappointing stone crab season
  • Fishermen say traps are beginning to dry up
  • The scarcity has prompted costs to extend

On prime of recovering from Hurricane Irma, the variety of stone crabs being caught is drastically down. For shoppers, the scarcity has induced costs to extend.

Donald Rhamberg often has numerous stone crabs to promote at his fish market Tampa Blue Crab and Seafood this time of the yr, however not this time.

“Final yr, October/November, we have been within the neighborhood of a pair thousand kilos for distribution. This yr, we’re fortunate to have seen 600 kilos,” Rhamberg stated.

The case on the entrance of his retailer tells the story.

“Usually, you’d have stone crabs all the best way throughout the case, about 300 kilos. This right here is perhaps four or 5 kilos of floaters,” Rhamberg defined.

Stone crab season began nicely in October, however crabbers say the traps then began to dry up.

The thought is Irma churned up water which will have despatched the stone crabs offshore.

Fisherman Cory Palmer has stopped promoting stone crabs and says fellow fishermen at the moment are actually struggling.

“It’s an enormous a part of their revenue. They work all yr spending cash getting traps prepared. It’s a serious hit,” Palmer stated.

Nevertheless, blue crabs are coming in very properly proper now. It’s an indication that because the climate modifications, anglers hope the subsequent few months might flip round for stone crabs.

“If you already know a business fisherman, make certain to offer them a Christmas current this yr. They might use your help,” Rhamberg stated.

Final yr, medium stone crab claws have been promoting for about $15 a pound. This yr, that worth has almost doubled.

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