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7 Fresh Facts About Stone Crabs

Fins Stone Crabs and View

'Tis the season - stone crabs have arrived at Fins at Sharky's! Their claws are ready and waiting to be devoured, so join us for lunch or dinner and get crackin.'

Our supply is replenished daily, which ensures that we have the freshest stone crabs in Venice, FL. They come in fresh off the boat, then we cook them right up so they're ready and featured on the day's menu! We have appetizer and entrée options available to meet your degree of hunger.

Stone crabs are a Florida specialty. It’s not a trip to the Sunshine State without them, so make sure to stop in! We won’t mind if you come back for more, either. Stone crabs are paired best with a handmade craft cocktail or glass of fine wine and the best Gulf views on the Southwest Florida coast.

Did you know that it’s only legal to harvest Stone Crabs during a specific time of year? That’s why they’re not available year-round. Stone crab season runs from mid-October to mid-May. The harvest is closely monitored to maintain the crab’s population. However, only a stone crab's claws are harvested! They're released back into the water to grow their claws back for future seasons. 

Though commonly termed “Florida Stone Crabs,” the luxury catch can be found anywhere from Connecticut to Belize. They’re especially populous in the Gulf of Mexico and around the Bahamas, in addition to South Carolina and Georgia’s salt marshes.

Here are a few more fresh & flavorful fun facts about stone crabs:

1. Their official name is the Crustacea Subphylum.

2. Sea Turtles, Grouper and Horse Conch prey on stone crabs. Stone crabs, on the other hand, prey on other crustaceans like oysters, mollusks or worms.

3. Stone crabs lose their limbs! They grow back, though. The process is called “molting.” The claw becomes larger and stronger each time it grows back, but it can take as long as a year. Stone Crabs will lose a limb if it’s damaged by a human or predator, or if the crab becomes sick.

4. How do you know if a stone crab is male or female? Females are “wide” while males are “tall.” This means that the female will have a much wider and rounder abdomen as opposed to a male’s, which is longer and narrower. Only males can be harvested.

5. Females can only mate after a molt. The typical mating season is in the fall from September through November.

6. It’s extremely difficult to determine how old a stone crab is. So, its age is determined by how many times it has molted. It’s estimated that, in wild and unharvested populations, males live between 7 and 8 years while females live between 8 and 9 years.

7. A stone crab’s size is determined by the length of its “propodus,” the large and immobile part of its claw. The biggest stone crab ever found was 148.9 millimeters, which converts to 5.75 inches. Wow!

Fins at Sharky's is open daily from 12 to 10 p.m. and offers a seasonal and daily changing menu featuring fresh local ingredients. Lunch (12 to 3 p.m.) and dinner (4 to 10 p.m.) are served daily. Fins Frenzy, our daily Happy Hour featuring light bites and amazing drink specials, runs from 4 to 6 p.m.

We’ll see you soon for a FIN-tastic meal! We highly encourage making reservations - give us a call at 941-999-3467 or visit our website to reserve your table.

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