Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

The First Annual Naples Stone Crab Festival

This weekend I participated in the First Annual Naples Stone Crab Festival. I set up a booth by Kelly's Fish House. Beside a display and fact sheets I created on stone crabs and the fishery, I also had plenty of recipes and nutritional information about other types of Florida seafood. In addition, I had a tank with live stone crabs in it. My booth was a big hit. In all, approximately 500 people visited the booth during the two day event. I partnered with FWC law enforcement, who also helped educate visitors about stone crabs and other fisheries-related information. People seemed to be very appreciative of the information and materials we provided. I was amazed how little people knew about stone crabs despite loving to eat them. For example, a lot of people didn't realize that only the crab's claws are harvested and that the crab is returned to the water alive. In addition, they didn't know that if both of the crab's claws are legal size (2 3/4 inches), they can be harvested. Of course the next logical question was if the claws can grow back. Yes, it takes a crab approximately a year to regenerate and up to 3 years to regain 95% of the origin size. The festival seemed to be a huge success, and I look forward to participating in it next year. It was also a great opportunity for me to work with our local fishing industry and build a stronger work relationship with them.
visitors got their share of stone crabs during the festival

Workers from Kelly's Fish House stayed busy during the event

Despite long lines, they never ran out of claws!

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