TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida wildlife officials are asking for your help to determine the future of the stone crab fishing industry in the state.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding a virtual stone crab workshop on Thursday, June 18 to gather public input.
The agency says the number of stone crabs caught in state waters has been declining for years. The FWC believes that indicates the population is decreasing due to overfishing.
The FWC is weighing several regulation changes to help the stone crab population recover:
- Moving the end of stone crab season from May 15 to April 9.
- Extending the post-season trap retrieval period from 5 days to 10 days after the season ends.
- Requiring a 2 3/16 inch escape ring in all plastic and wood stone crab traps before the 2023/2024 stone crab season.
- Increasing the minimum claw size limit by 1/8 inch to 2 7/8 inches.
The virtual workshop will start at 6 p.m. You can join by going to FWC.adobeconnect.com/mfm and logging in as a guest. Instructions on how to access the audio will be given when you are logged on.
If you are unable to attend the virtual workshop, a video of it will be posted on the agency's YouTube page.