Softshell2.GIF (16621 bytes)
Soft Shell Crabs

In order for a hard crab to grow, it must periodically shed its old shell (molt) in order to grow a larger shell. Following a successful molt, the crab's new shell is extremely soft. After several days in the water, the new shell fully hardens and is about one-third larger in size.

Shedding Tank 3.GIF (38920 bytes)

Showing signs of moulting, peeler crabs are placed in shedding floats (or tanks) until they moult and become softs.

Shedding Tank 4.GIF (30714 bytes)

Crabs must be checked many times a day so that they can be removed from the water immediately after moulting so that they are not eaten by other crabs and so their shells will not harden.

Pallet of Softs.GIF (31773 bytes)

The live soft crabs are placed in waxed boxes and refrigerated until they are ready to be packaged.

Tray of Softs 2.GIF (30824 bytes)

Sorted by size and placed in waxed boxes containing damp seaweed (eelgrass), these soft crabs are ready for shipment.



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