Octopuses Threatening Lee County Stone Crab Season
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FORT MYERS (CBSMiami/AP) — An over abundance of octopuses are once again threatening to wreck the commercial stone crab season in the waters off Lee County.
Octopuses are a stone crab’s and a commercial stone crabber’s worst nightmare.
They’re voracious predators; they love stone crabs; they can easily crawl into and out of stone crab traps; and they’re smart.
The News-Press reports that octopuses have invaded the area and are turning trapped stone crabs into piles of shell fragments.
Stone crabs are an important fishery in Florida: From 2003 through 2012, commercial fishermen harvested an average of 2.68 million pounds of stone crab claws with an average dockside value of $23.09 million.
Lee County’s 10-year average was 136,666 pounds of claws.
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