Keys fishermen report decent prices for claws amid otherwise slow start to stone crab harvests

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KEY WEST, Florida — Fishermen in the Florida Keys say stone crab season is off to a slow start, but it's still an improvement over the previous disappointing season.

Conch Key fisherman Gary Nichols tells The Key West Citizen (http://bit.ly/1u5G5Qv ) that "prices have been decent" but he's only harvesting 300 to 400 pounds of stone crab claws a day. In an average year, Nichols says he would be harvesting 600 to 800 pounds of claws a day.

Fishermen say the prices are making up for the small harvests. They're reporting up to $26 a pound for jumbo-size claws, $16 a pound for large claws and $9 a pound for medium claws.

The stone crab season began Oct. 15 and ends May 15. Last season was one of the worst in decades with dismal catches.


Information from: The Key West (Fla.) Citizen, http://www.keysnews.com

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