National Fisherman


Two days into Florida's stone crab season, it already looks grim. Few crabs plus huge demand equals stratospheric prices.
 
For now, retail prices may hover around $15 per pound for mediums, $30 per pound for jumbos, said Tommy Shook, general manager of Frenchy's Seafood. In a good year, mediums might start out around $8 pounds, jumbos $20.
 
Why? It's a perfect storm.
 
Last year's terrible season meant that many part-time crabbers didn't even drop traps this year, forgoing the season altogether, according to Matt Loder Sr., CEO of Crabby Bill's restaurants.
 
"Take all those part-time crabbers out of the equation and a lot fewer crabs will come in," he said.
 
That number is further squeezed by the federal shutdown. Every crab trap requires a tag — those crabbers late to get their tags may have been shut out of the season's launch.
 
In Everglades City, many professional crabbers went on strike as the season opened Tuesday and refused to leave the docks. They were offered only $7.50 for boat price for mediums, so they decided to park it in the hopes dockside pricing will change.
 
"If you're a crabber in Homosassa Springs and you hear the crabbers down south aren't going out crabbing," Loder said, "you think you should be getting more for your stuff."
 
Read the full story at the Tampa Bay Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Obama Administration recently announced that it is looking for candidates to be considered for a sustainable fishing prize.

The White House Champion for Change for Sustainable Seafood designation will honor individuals for “contributing to the ongoing recovery of America’s fishing industry and our fishing communities.”

Read more ...

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more ...
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