Residents of the Florida Keys were waiting with eager anticipation last week for the beginning of the stone crab season.
GV Crab fishermen off Florida Keys (3 shots)
CU Stone crab under water
SV & CU Fishermen hauling crabs aboard and unpacking them (6 shots)
CU & SV Fishermen taking claws off crab and live bodies being thrown into water (8 shots)
LV Boat returning to harbour
CU & LV INTERIOR Waiter carrying crabs and people waiting for orders (2 shots)
CU Claws being dipped into sauce and eaten (2 shots)
CU Diners commenting (SOT) (2 shots)
SV & CU Food being prepared in kitchen (3 shots)
CU Diners eating crab claws (3 shots)
CU Stone crab under water (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE EIGHT):
DINER: "I'm here on a very first trip and I may never go back."
DINER: "I've never had anything taste like this."
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER DENNIS MURPHY AVAILABLE FOR USE IF REQUIRED.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Residents of the Florida Keys were waiting with eager anticipation last week for the beginning of the stone crab season. Fishermen were out before dawn to net their prey. The crabs were just as eager to escape detection. When the crabs are caught the fishermen break off their claws and throw the live crab back into the sea. The crabs grow another claw and the fishermen say they've recognized crabs that have been caught before by distinctive markings on their shells. Diners in 'Joe's Stone Crab' restaurant in Miami make every night a party, and queue for hours for their first taste of crab claws. The waiters serve more than five thousand claws a night in the height of the season, so for the crabs, evading the traps has become something of an art.