Associated Press News Release
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Fisherman in southwest Florida say octopuses are threatening to decimate their stone crab harvests.
Octopuses are intelligent, voracious predators. They can easily prey on stone crabs caught in traps in the Gulf of Mexico.
Island Crab Co. owner Jeff Haugland tells the News-Press (http://newspr.es/1euEITM ) that his boat crews are reporting seeing far more octopuses than stone crabs in the roughly 50-foot-deep waters where they've laid traps.
Haugland says "it's like a desert" in those waters.
Wildlife officials say that while octopuses are plentiful off Lee County, they're not causing problems in other parts of the state.
Fishermen in the Florida Keys and the Ten Thousands Islands say they have seen some octopuses among their traps, but they're not reporting the losses experienced farther north.
Information from: The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, http://www.news-press.com