As of October 15th, stone crabs are officially being harvested in Southwest Florida, to be steamed, cracked and served dipped in melted lemon butter or mustard sauce.
During the seven month season from October 15th through May 15th, hundreds of thousands of pounds of Florida stone crab will make their way from area waters to our dinner table.
The claws are cooked right on the dock in salted boiling water for 7-8 minutes and stored on ice before making their way to restaurants and markets.
Stone crabs are one of the Florida’s most valuable seafoods. From 2002 to 2011, commercial fishermen landed an average of 2.72 million pounds of claws with a dockside value of $22.79 million.
What many people don’t know is that stone crabs are a “renewable” resource. Crabbers remove the claws and return the live crab to the water. Both claws can be legally removed and according to a 1978 study, 53 percent of the crabs that had both claws removed survived, while 72 percent of those with one claw removed survived.
We would be happy to recommend one of our favorite fishhouses or restaurants that serve this delicacy so get your claw crackers ready!