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Many seafood companies across the world and especially in the United States use illegal or unethical means to source their crab claws. Often, this results in cheaper, less fresh crabs on the market. If you’ve ever been disappointed by the taste, freshness or size of your crab claw meal, chances are you have unknowingly received your stone crabs from an unethical supplier. At Patas Stone Crabs, we source our beautiful stone crabs in a safe, sustainable and ethical manner. But what does this mean exactly?
The US fishing industry is heavily regulated to ensure the compliance of seafood suppliers. Not only do the Patas Stone Crab team fulfill and uphold all of these regulations, we go the extra mile to ensure that our products come from ethical sources.
Firstly, we follow the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services guidelines. We only harvest our stone crabs between October and May to allow the crab population to regrow. If we didn’t, we would risk decimating the local population, and ruining the supply for our customers in following years. This practice helps preserve Florida’s unique stone crab population and means everyone will be able to enjoy these delectable crab claws for years to come!
Another sustainability method we use at Patas Stone Crabs is called single claw harvesting. This means our fishermen only take one claw from each stone crab, allowing them to defend themselves against predators like eels, fish, sharks and octopuses.
Of course, their claws have the ability to grow back! This process can take up to three years before the same crab claw can be reharvested again. In this time, the stone crabs live life to their fullest potential in the ocean.
Following new guidelines, the claws we harvest have to be 2 ⅞” as opposed to 2 ¾”. What this means for you is larger crabs claws on your dinner table. Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that approximately 200 000 stone crabs are left alone to grow for an additional year.
The way Patas Stone Crabs measure and ensure these new rules is by using box trappers. This key change to the harvesting process allows crabs smaller than the legal size to leave the box. This conserves the stone crab population as well as increasing their growth rate.
You can learn more about Stone Crab harvesting here.