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The 2012 – 2013 Florida Stone Crab Season is Open!

Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on October 22nd, 2012 in Announcements, Product Alerts, Selecting Seafood, Sustainability

It’s that time of year again! Fresh Stone Crab Claws are now in season - get this sustainable crab option on your menu while you can – fresh claws are only available through May of 2013! We’ll have fresh claws available for the coming weekend – the sooner you let your Santa Monica Seafood Sales Representative know you are interested in working with this seasonal offering the better!

Planning ahead always helps – especially since the early harvests out of Florida are starting off a bit weak. Gary Graves, VP of Keys Fisheries in Marathon, FL told Seafood Source, “the season is starting out slow. There are extremely warm water temperatures and no wind.”

Seafood Watch considers Florida Stone Crab Claws a “Good Choice” and gives them a “Green” ranking.

According to Seafood Watch,

The fishery depends on the ability of these crabs to regenerate their claws. This unique fishery removes only one claw from each trapped crab, and the animal is released alive. If carefully treated, adult stone crabs can regenerate their claws three or four times.

Although there is some concern with the environmental damage caused by the large numbers of crab traps and ropes, the stone crab fishery is considered sustainable. Populations appear to be holding steady, and fishermen and managers have created a plan that will gradually reduce fishing effort over the next 30 years. This plan aims to protect stone crab populations while maintaining a viable fishery. We recommend stone crab as a “Best Choice.”

Stone Crab Claws are only available fresh for part of the year (October – May) so now’s the to think about featuring this tasty seafood treat!

What’s unique about stone crab claws is how they’re harvested. Fishermen set out traps for the crabs, bring them onboard the boat, and then simply remove one of the crab’s claws (claws have to be 2 ¾ inches or larger).  Since crabs can regenerate the missing claw in about 18 months, they provide us with an incredibly sustainable resource!

Claws are cooked and cooled immediately after delivery to the dock to ensure the freshest and highest quality meat available.

Florida leads the world in stone crab claw production (mainly coming from the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula from Sarasota to Fort Lauderdale); over 95 percent of the claws come out of the Gulf of Mexico.

A serving of stone crab is about 3 to 4 claws per serving (depending on size).  Stone crab claws are generally available as:

  • Medium (6 to 8 claws per pound)
  • Large (5 to 6 claws per pound)
  • Jumbo (2 to 4 claws per pound)

Although the interactive excitement of using a hammer to open Stone Crab Claws in a restaurant is tough to beat – you may prefer to do the work for your customers… If that’s the case – plan for about 1 lb. of picked crab meat for 2 1/2 pounds of medium size stone crab claws.

Call your Santa Monica Seafood Representative today and get this sustainable crab option on your menu!

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