Associated Press Release
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- Catches of blue crabs and stone crabs appear to be dwindling in the same central Florida lagoon area where manatees, dolphins and other wildlife have died in large numbers.
While crab harvests in the Indian River Lagoon region can vary widely year-to-year, an analysis of state data by Florida Today shows that the long-term trend has been a downward spiral.
Brevard County's commercial blue crab catch in 2012 was less than one-tenth what it was 25 years ago and the lowest since Florida began collecting the data in 1986. The county's commercial stone crab harvest also dropped in the last 30 years, from a peak of 6,742 pounds, almost 57 pounds per trip in 1989, to 2,875 pounds last year, just 8.3 pounds per trip.