TANNERSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — In major blow to America’s seafood industry, low populations of both snow and king crabs have led to the shutdown of the harvest seasons in the North Pacific.
Crab legs are a fan favorite at Smuggler’s Cove in Tannersville. The spot known as the Seafood King of the Poconos has brought fresh lobster and crab to the area since 1980.
However, due to recent shutdowns of crab harvest season for red king crab and snow crab, customers are shelling out more for their meals.
“It’s been a rough year for people that catch crab, sell crab, eat crab, it’s been rough,” Owner of Smugglers Cove, Chris Sarajian, said.
Sarajian says they’ve seen an increase in crab prices for more than a year.
Despite wanting to lower the price for customers, pandemic shortages and low crab populatios, are racking up the cost by more than double.
“Normally we sell for thirty dollars had to go to fifty, or twenty dollars has to go to thirty, and we weren’t even making any money on it,” Sarajian explained.
Sarajian said the million-dollar question is, when will the prices go down.
“When are gas prices going to go down? When are food prices going to go down? Honestly, we’re seeing now some items that were unbelievably expensive like filet mignon, that doubled in price, have come down,” Sarajian continued.
While they work to keep prices manageable, one customer Eyewitness News spoke with says people still need to support local businesses.
“They are part of our community and you have to support your community. If you won’t support your community, then you won’t have a community,” said Dennis Funk of Tannersville.
Smuggler’s Cove’s long-standing Buster the Crab Seafood Fest will still take place in November, despite the crab harvesting shutdown.