where are stone crabs found
Stonecrabs(Menippe sp.) can be foundin coastal and offshore waters ranging from North Carolina to Belize, including the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the entirety of the Yucatan Peninsula.
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Where do Stone Crabs live in the United States?
Stone crab general information Stone crabs (Menippe sp.) can be found in coastal and offshore waters ranging from North Carolina to Belize, including the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the entirety of the Yucatan Peninsula.
How long do Stone Crabs live?
They live on average for 7-8 years, and females can lay up to 1,000,000 eggs at a time! Stone crabs are usually harvested primarily for their claws; upon acquiring the claw, the live crabs are put back in the ocean where they can regrow new claws. The claws of a stone crab can crush an oyster shell.
How to catch Stone Crabs in Florida?
Leave the trap for at least 24 hours and then check if any crab were caught in it. As per Florida law, you can only harvest stone crabs that have claws that are about 2.75 inches long-only and you can only remove one claw. Otherwise, the crab will not be able to feed itself after it is released and will die.
What is the stone crab fishery like?
The stone crab fishery is unique in that only the claws are harvested and the crabs are returned to the water. Whether the declawed crab survives is dependent on the water temperature and how the claw is broken. How the crabs are handled by the fisherman before and after the claws are removed is also important.