MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - Florida's commercial fishermen are hoping winter visitors will flock to the Sunshine State for stone crab season.
Gary Graves is vice president of Keys Fisheries, the largest processor of the crab's tasty claws in the Florida Keys. He says a strong winter tourism season for the state normally translates into higher fiscal yields for the commercial fishing industry.
Graves says some 75 percent of all claws harvested by Florida's commercial fishermen remain in Florida and are mostly consumed by visitors. He adds that consumers should expect slightly higher season-opening prices, due to fuel cost increases for fishermen. He expects retail seafood market prices to be around $10 per pound for medium claws, $16 for large and $21 for jumbos.
The stone crab season runs Monday through May 15.