With an absence of red tides and tropical storm activity in the area, Florida Keys stone crab fisherman are optimistic for a productive harvest. Unfortunately, prices are expected to be higher than ever. Stone crabs are (if you’re squeamish, cover your eyes) twisted off live crabs, which are then thrown back in the water, where the claws will regrow. Those claws are an expensive Florida delicacy, prized by many seafood aficionados. Currently, at Keys Fisheries‘ restaurant, a pound of jumbos (2-3 per pound) will run you about $37.
In Marathon yesterday, Keys Fisheries held their annual Stone Crab Eating Contest. The winner, Larry Smorgala, consumed 25 claws in the shortest amount of time, 15 minutes and 20 seconds. That might seem like a long time to eat 25 crab claws but the thing you have to understand is that the claws are very difficult to crack. When they are served in restaurants they come pre-cracked but contestants in the eating contest had to crack their own. As Larry pointed out, it’s more of a crab-cracking contest than a crab eating contest. Stone crab season runs through May 15th of next year.Keys Fisheries 3502 Gulfview Avenue Marathon FL 33050 866-743-4353 Keys Fisheries’ Website Keys Fisheries on Facebook