Stone Crab For Sale
stone crab claws are one of the priciest seafoods you can buy. Here's what makes them so expensive.
Stone crab claws are one of the most expensive seafoods you can buy.
A plate of four 7-ounce stone crab claws at a restaurant can cost you $140.
They're partly pricey due to how they're caught, which is can be exhaustive and sometimes dangerous.
Stone crab claws are one of the priciest seafoods you can buy. And depending on their size, a pound of claws at a restaurant can cost as much as $70. But catching these crabs is hard work. Strangely enough, fishers can only harvest the claws from the crabs, while the bodies must be returned to the ocean. So, what makes these claws so coveted? And why are they so expensive?
You can only fish for stone crab on the southeastern coast of the US, Cuba, the Bahamas, Thailand and Mexico. And it’s Florida where more stone crabs are caught than anywhere else. These crustaceans are markedly more expensive than other popular crabs. A pound of claws can cost two times the price of Alaskan snow crab legs. Part of what makes these crabs so costly is the labor-intensive process of catching them.
Ernie Piton: There’s a nice crab.
Narrator: Ernie Piton Jr. has been commercially fishing for stone crabs for over 40 years. With limited time to harvest each year, his crew must start their days early, sailing out before the sun rises. The process begins with dropping traps down to the ocean floor.
Kevin Henry: This is probably the funnest part, you know? You get to be a little more physical, you know what I mean? It’s a little bit of a rhythm thing going on here. It’s like dancing mariachi.
Narrator: But plucking these claws can be a dangerous process.
Bill Kelly: The claws on an adult crab can have as much as 9,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. With the enormous pressure that’s exerted, they could actually pop a finger off at the joint.
Kevin: These crabs, they have a mind of their own. You can easily get bit, you know, if you’re not careful. I’ve only been bit maybe, say, eight times in my career. Popped over a million claws in my day.
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