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Stone crab shortage causing price surge before holidays | Video

Stone crab shortage causing price surge before holidays | Video

Stone crab season started bountifully despite Hurricane Irma’s devastation, but the claws have mysteriously gone scarce in recent weeks. The shortage has left crabbers, seafood stores and consumers in a pinch before the high-demand holiday season.

“We’re all trying to figure out what happened to them,” Chris Culbreth, general manager at Catfish Dewey’s restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, said Thursday. “The traps just started coming up empty.”

Not just empty but also covered in barnacles, crab industry veterans said. Footage posted on Facebook by a Florida Keys fisherman shows barnacles coating dead lobsters and crabs inside. Typically, live stone crabs are trapped and released...

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