Associated Press Release
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's stone crab season is over.
Commercial and recreational harvests of stone crab claws close Wednesday. The next season begins Oct. 15.
Commercial fishermen in the Florida Keys say it's been a disastrous harvest.
Last year, they got around $18 a pound for jumbo claws, $12 a pound for large claws and $7 or $8 for medium claws.
Commercial fisherman George Niles tells The Key West Citizen that those prices went up as much as $6 a pound this year, but production was so poor that the season wasn't lucrative.
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist says red tides and a fatal parasite plagued stone crabs this year.
This season's harvest may total about 2 million pounds. A good season should yield about 3 million pounds.