seafood

Off Cedar Key on Florida's west coast, the water is some of the most pristine in the Gulf. The estuary there has long supported a thriving seafood industry.

Sue Colson, a city commissioner in Cedar Key, says one of the best places to harvest oysters used to be the Lone Cabbage oyster reef, about a mile offshore. When the tide was really low, she says there were so many oysters that she and her husband could walk along the reef picking them up.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The state’s stone crab fishery should expect to take a hit this season from the red tide algae bloom that’s been plaguing Florida’s west coast for months, but the Keys, which accounts for 65 percent of the harvest of the sought-after claws, does not appear to be affected.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Seafood is a big part of South Florida’s culinary scene and its culture. Conch, snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, marlin and stone crab -- they have places in our hearts, as well as on our plates.

Bob Care / Florida Keys News Service

  One of Floridians' favorite local foods should be back on the menu, with the opening of stone crab season on Thursday.

Rob O'Neal / Florida Keys News Service

The annual spiny lobster season opens Thursday, when commercial trappers can start pulling traps from the water and divers and recreational fishers can start grabbing the crustaceans.

"We never know what's going to happen until they make those first pulls and we see what the market's going to bear," said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association.

Elias Levy / American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ciguatera poisoning is far more common in Florida, especially South Florida, than previously believed based on public health records, according to a new study from the University of Florida and the state Department of Health.

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

From gangsters to glamor girls, presidents to princesses and actors to athletes, Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant has run the gamut of diners over its 100 years in operation.

On October 15, the legendary South Beach restaurant opened the doors for dinner service – the first of the stone crab season.

In 1913, Joe’s began as Joe’s Seafood Restaurant, serving fish sandwiches and fries, after Joe and Jennie Weiss relocated from New York to Miami Beach because of Joe’s asthma.

Joe was a waiter and Jennie was the cook.