Cost of Crabs Takes a Hike

MAY 19, 2005 -- Gay Williams works at Alford Seafood in Monkey Junction.  She says she takes 50 to 75 calls a day about blue crabs.  "I say, we got a few right now, so if you're not here in 30 minutes, they're going to somebody else," says Williams.

Those popular hard shell crabs come at a price, about three dollars more per dozen than last year.  At Alford's, the crabs run about ten dollars a dozen. Last year, they were a little less than seven bucks for the same amount. They say the cold weather could be to blame. It keeps the crabs away from the crabbers.  "When the water's cold, they're gonna stay in the mud. When the water warms up, they get out of it and into their traps," says Williams.

Some shoppers say the costly crabs could keep buyers like them at bay.  "They'll buy less of them because there is sometimes people just want to have a few crabs and if they are expensive, they'll have just a few less," says shopper, Chuck Ramsey.  But, now that the weather is starting to warm up, the crabs will come out of hiding.  That's good for the crabbers, and that should bring the price tag down, which is great for the customers.

Reported by Darcy Douglass