How Are Stone Crab Claws Harvested?

Florida Stone Crabs are a popular seafood delicacy known for its sweet and succulent meat. The claws of this species are highly valued and harvested for their taste and texture. However, the process of harvesting stone crab claws is often misunderstood, and many people are unaware of the sustainable practices used to ensure the survival of this species. With decades of experience, our fishing partners have grown to instill safe, sustainable harvesting practices to ensure that the claws you’re enjoying can continue to be enjoyed.

So, How Are Florida Stone Crab Claws Harvested?

The harvesting of Florida Stone Crab claws is highly regulated, and strict rules are in place to ensure the sustainability of the species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is responsible for managing and regulating the state's stone crab fishery, including the harvesting of claws.

Harvesting Florida Stone Crab claws is done by licensed fishermen who use traps to catch the crabs. The traps are designed to capture the crabs without harming them, and they are placed in shallow water, usually at a depth of about 5 to 10 feet. The traps are made of wire mesh, and they allow small crabs and other marine life to escape, minimizing the impact on the environment.

Once the traps are set, they are checked daily, and any crabs that have been caught are carefully inspected. The claws of the crabs are then measured to ensure that they meet the legal size limit. According to FWC regulations, only the claws of crabs that measure at least 2.75 inches may be harvested. The crabs themselves must be immediately released back into the water.

If the claws meet the legal size limit, they are carefully removed from the crab by hand using a technique that is designed to minimize any harm to the crab. After the claws have been removed, the crab is released back into the water. The claws will then regenerate over time, and the crab will continue to live and reproduce. This sustainable harvesting process ensures the survival of the species while also providing a delicious seafood delicacy for consumers across the country.

Once the claws have been harvested, they are cooked in boiling water for a few minutes until the meat is cooked through. The claws are then chilled and cracked, and the meat is removed from the shell. The meat is then served as a delicacy, often with a side of mustard sauce or drawn butter.

The harvesting of Florida Stone Crab claws is a highly regulated and sustainable process that ensures the survival of the species while providing a valuable source of income for fishermen and a delicious seafood delicacy for consumers. The strict regulations and sustainable practices used in the harvesting of these claws make them a responsible and ethical choice for seafood lovers who want to enjoy the taste of the ocean while also protecting the environment.

Captain Stone Crab is proud to support sustainable Stone Crab claw harvesting for every claw we send to you. You can rest assured knowing that all Captain Stone Crab products delivered to your door are fresh, safe, delicious, and sustainably harvested. Shop our collection of Stone Crab claws today!