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Where Have The Stone Crabs Gone? Shortage Of Florida Delicacy Drives Up Prices

Walter Flores holds a pair stone crab claws at his Golden Rule Seafood shop in Palmetto Bay, where the Florida delicacy is fetching high prices because of a shortage in catches. Commercial trappers hope the recent cold fronts could revive the season.
Walter Flores holds a pair stone crab claws at his Golden Rule Seafood shop in Palmetto Bay, where the Florida delicacy is fetching high prices because of a shortage in catches. Commercial trappers hope the recent cold fronts could revive the season.

Less than halfway through Florida’s lucrative stone crab season, traps are drying up, dealing another blow to a fishing industry still recovering from a beating delivered by a brutal Hurricane Irma.

“Everybody’s feeling it,” said Walter Flores, owner of the Golden Rule Seafood in Palmetto Bay, which has been selling and serving stone crabs since 1943. Normally Flores starts taking orders for holiday crabs about now. But this year, he said, it’s first come, first serve.

“We have them,” he said, “but you have to offer more money to get them. It’s almost a bidding war.”

Medium claws that sold for about $19 a pound last year are now going for $26.99, he said. Large claws are pulling in $45 a pound.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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