Why Are Stone Crab Claws So Expensive?

Stone crab claws are known for their succulent, sweet flavor and delicate texture, which is why they are considered a delicacy by many seafood lovers. However, one thing that always gets questioned is “why are stone crab claws so expensive?”

The high price of stone crab claws is due to a number of factors, including their limited availability, the time and effort required to catch and process them, the legal requirements for catching and declawing, and the high demand for this luxurious seafood item.

The Limited Availability of Stone Crabs

One reason that stone crab claws are expensive is due to their limited availability. Stone crabs are only found off the Southeastern coast of the Florida Bay, and they are subject to strict fishing regulations to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the species. As a result, the supply of stone crab claws is limited, which can drive up the price.

Stone crabs can only be fished while in-season, which runs from October 15th through May 1st of every year. It’s illegal to fish for them at any time outside of this window, both commercially and recreationally. With such a limited window comes a limited quantity that’s available at any given time, especially outside of the season. Captain Stone Crab will have a very limited quantity of stone crabs that are flash frozen for when the season ends, but for the freshest, most delicious crabs we always recommend buying during the season.

How Stone Crabs Are Fished

In addition to their limited availability, the process of catching and processing stone crab claws is time-intensive and labor-intensive, which also contributes to their high cost. Fishermen must use specialized traps to catch the crabs, and the claws must be carefully removed and processed before they can be sold.

Stone crab fishermen will use baited traps that are submerged with up to 100 traps on the same line. Once these traps are retrieved, the team of fishermen work together to inspect every single crab before declawing ones that are legal, and releasing them once finished. This is a very involved process, as there’s several regulations that must be followed. For example: claws must be bigger than the minimum requirement of 2 7/8th inches, which is measured from the base of the propodus (the elbow) to the tip of the claw. In addition, stone crabs must be inspected to see if they are an ovigerous female. This means that they are a female carrying eggs, they cannot have their claws removed whatsoever. This heavily involved process can be very costly for the fishermen sourcing the claws which only adds to the cost associated.

High Demand

Finally, there is a high demand for stone crab claws, which also contributes to their high price. Stone crab claws are considered a luxurious and special occasion food, and people are willing to pay a premium for the chance to enjoy them. With buyers from across the country, we here at Captain Stone Crab are doing everything we can to ensure we have a constant supply of the best, most delicious Florida stone crab claws available.

All these factors come together to add up to the price of stone crabs. Captain Stone Crabs does everything it can to ensure that you’re receiving the highest quality, most delicious stone crab claws at the best possible price. Shop our selection of stone crab claws today!