Environmental Factors – Predation – FL Stone Crab


octopus in trapStone crabs are part of the diet for many marine species, including horse conch, groupers, sea turtles,  cobia, and octopus. Octopus can be particularly problematic for stone crab fishermen as they are voracious predators of stone crab. Additionally, they will use traps as dens, which causes the stone crabs to avoid the inhabited traps (Muller et al. 2011). During interviews conducted by G.U.L.F., some industry members indicated that the presence of octopus can greatly reduce catch. This corresponds with concerns expressed in previous publications (Lindberg et al 1989 as cited in Muller et al. 2011). Muller et al. (2011) attempted to quantify if stone crab catch rates were low when octopus catch rates were high, but found no correlation between stone crab and octopus catch rates. If there is a decrease in stone crab catch, it typically occurs locally. Additionally, stone crab tend to stay ahead of an octopus outbreak, and fishermen can take advantage of this movement and place traps where the mass movement of stone crab may occur (Muller et al. 2011).



Previous: Habitat loss, restoration, and freshwater inflow                                                                   Next: History of the Fishery


Return to FL Stone Crab

Download the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide mobile app:
Click here for the app tutorial on YouTube.
Sponsored and coordinated by Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.