(U.S. Atlantic, U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Trap)
The Florida stone crab fishery is considered sustainable and a "Best Choice."
Florida Stone Crab, Gulf Stone Crab
The stone crab is named for its hard, stony shell. This crab is most abundant in the Gulf of Mexico. Florida lands 98 percent of the U.S. stone crab market. 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."