Stone Crab Season Is Almost Upon Us!

Freshwater shrimp

If you have never eaten stone crab, you sure are missing out. They offer some of the most succulent and savory crab meat that can be found, offering the best stone crab claws. Crab eaters from around the world flock to places like Florida during stone crab season in order to partake in those sweet, meaty claws.

Just like blue crabs, stone crabs can only be harvested along locations such as the Gulf Coast of Florida, usually found around the jetties, oyster reefs, and other rocky areas. The 2013 season, the start of when you can get the best stone crab claws, is just two weeks away. The 15th of October this year marks the start of the season.

These little guys average between five to 6.5 inches in size. Their coloration is a brown-red with grey spots, and an underside that is tan. They have two different sized claws that have black tips. You can tell the genders apart because of a trait know as sexual dimorphism. This means that the females are larger than the males in general size, and the size of the carapace. While the males generally have larger claws than the females.

When feasting on stone crab, their bodies are not the main dish. They are so small that you cannot actually get much meat from them. But the claws are so big, that there is a significant amount of meat in there. Their claws, by the way, are strong enough to break open oysters.

Stone crab harvesting is actually a renewable process. Because the body is no good for eating, the crabbers will only take a single large claw from a crab, and then return it to the sea. The crabs are able to grow back their lost limbs, and then be harvested all over again. In order to qualify for harvesting, the claw must meet a certain size requirement.

The stone crab fishing industry has actually received the highest praise for insisting on safe fishing practices in order to preserve their stock. With all of this delicious knowledge in mind, why not take a trip to Florida soon, and partake in some of the finest claws you will ever have?

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