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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stone-crab season suffers in Florida Keys

Oh, oh--something going on here--

Stone-crab season suffers in the Keys - Florida Keys - "Last season, Monroe County produced about 1.1 million pounds of legal-size claws, accounting for a large portion of Florida's total 2.67 million-pound harvest worth an estimated $23.6 million to the commercial fleet. . . . Only the claws are kept. Historically, stone-crab harvests have topped three million pounds of claws. . . "The first round of trap pulling was fine but it went downhill from there — like falling off a cliff." Fishermen and researchers are baffled. "Blame it on global warming, blame it on BP [Deepwater Horizon oil spill], blame it on Mother Nature," Graves said. "Everybody's got an idea but nobody can say why. It's probably a combination of a bunch of things." News reports from stone-crab fleets farther up the Florida Gulf Coast suggest an octopus population explosion. Crabs are a favorite food of octopus, which are smart enough to get into traps. . . .


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