Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Crab, Stone

Florida Dept. of Agriculture
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Crab Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Crab, Kani Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Crab, Blue Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani U.S. Pot
Crab, Blue Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Blue-Claw, Hardshell & Softshell Crab, Kani Chesapeake Bay Trotline
Crab, Dungeness Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab Alaska Trap
Crab, Dungeness Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Commercial, Market, Pacific Edible & San Francisco Crab California, Oregon, Washington Trap
Crab, Imitation (Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Alaska Wild
Crab, Imitation (not Alaska Pollock) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Lobster, Kanikama, Surimi Worldwide Wild
Crab, Jonah Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Atlantic Dungeness Crab U.S. Atlantic Wild
Crab, King Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Alaska King, Blue King, Golden King & Red King Crab, Kani U.S. Trap
Crab, King Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Blue King, Golden King, King & Red King Crab, Kani Russia Trap
Crab, King Southern Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. King & Southern Red King Crab, Centolla Argentina Pot,Trap
Crab, Kona Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Frog & Spanner Crab, Papa'i kualoa Hawaii Wild
Crab, Kona Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Frog & Spanner Crab Australia Wild
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Bering Sea, U.S. Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Eastern Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Snow Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Queen, Snow, Spider & Tanner Crab, Kani Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada Pot, Trap
Crab, Stone Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Florida Stone & Gulf Stone Crab U.S. Atlantic, U.S. Gulf of Mexico Wild
Crab, Swimmer, Blue Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl
Crab, Swimmer, Red Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Swimming, Swimmer, Colossal, Jumbo Lump, Super Lump, Lump & Backfin Lump Crab China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam Pot, Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Trawl


Stone Crab, Wild, U.S. Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico

The traps used in the fishery result in little bycatch and only a moderate impact on the seafloor habitat, making this fishery a "Best Choice." The stone crab fishery is unique in that crabs are returned to the water alive after one or both claws have been removed. Stone crab populations are likely stable.

Consumer Note

Stone crab has limited availability outside of the southeastern U.S. and Gulf coast and is considered a minor species in the national crab market. However, it is an important species in regions where it is caught, particularly Florida. Claws are sold either fresh-cooked or frozen.

Summary

Stone crabs occur along the entire southeastern U.S. coast from North Carolina through Texas, with more than 98% landed in Florida. Landings of stone crabs fluctuate over time but have remained relatively stable over the past several decades, indicating that the stock status is relatively stable.

There is little incidental catch in the fishery, and those species that are caught (mainly undersized crabs) can be returned to the sea alive.

The stone crab fishery has unique regulations that result in the survival of some fraction of the catch. Stone crabs are caught in traps and returned to the water alive after fishermen remove one or both legal-sized claws. There are additional regulations in place to protect breeding females and control overall effort in the fishery.

This fishery uses traps set on the seafloor, including mud, sand, and seagrass habitat, which has a moderate impact on the habitat.

Because of all of these factors, wild-caught stone crab from U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico is considered a "Best Choice."



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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat