If you are an avid lover of seafood, you will agree that it is hard to find seafood sold at a lower price.
Their prices are pretty high despite your location.
Blue crabs are one of the recognized varieties of shellfish around the world.
They are also among the most expensive seafood items.
Why? Because their supply is low while the demand is high.
So when the need for any product is higher than the supply, the price will automatically increase, making it more costly.
Other factors that affect blue crabs’ prices include regulations, location, perishability, and season.
We will discuss all these factors comprehensively.
If you have been wondering why blue crabs are costly, read through this article mindfully.
Why are blue crabs so expensive?
Blue crabs have an olive green shield and bright blue claws for males.
Females have red-tipped feet.
You will find them appearing from early spring to late fall.
Also, they love living in shallow waters or muddy bottoms.
Blue crabs can be a great source of food since you can use them in various ways.
You can decide to either steam, eat as a whole or use the meat as an ingredient to make other dishes.
So, with no further ado, let us dive in and discuss the reasons that make blue crabs so costly.
The cost of blue crabs depends on whether you purchase them raw, frozen, or precooked.
If you buy a blue crab directly from the anglers, you will buy it lower than in grocery stores.
It takes a lot of effort to bring blue crab to the table.
You can also decide to buy only the meat since fishers can sell their parts separately.
Again, if you buy from the docks, you will get the best quality and avoid the middlemen’s markups.
If you buy blue crabs from the stores, the process it takes to get there is extensive.
So when that cost gets added, it ends up being so costly.
You can find blue crabs at specific times of the year.
They are in season from June to October, so their prices may be lower during this period.
If, for instance, you buy it in January, you are probably going to pay more.
Again the year matters.
One year the harvest might be in plenty, while the other year, the yield is low.
So if the season is terrible, the prices of blue will be so high in the market.
Supply and demand
The supply and demand will get into play when it gets to pricing the product.
If the supply is low and demand is high, the product will be expensive and vice versa.
If you go to your local store and find no blue crabs on the shelves, that tells you that there is a low supply.
And so, the demand is high, resulting in premium price tags.
Most people love blue crabs because it tastes good and does not have the taste of fish.
Also, you can use it as part of an ingredient to make crab cakes or sushi.
Getting a blue crab is tiresome, so it is hard to sell it at a lower price.
The price of blue crabs depends on your location from the sea.
The nearby cities will get blue crabs at a high but reasonable price, but you may have to pay more if you live far away.
So the farther you live, the more you pay.
The ultimate price of blue crabs skyrockets if you add the shipping fees and labor involved in transporting them.
If you see cheap blue crabs from your local store, they might be imitations, so be on the lookout.
But blue crabs fanatics are always willing to pay even more to have a taste of it.
Blue crabs are perishable.
A lot of work is needed before shipping blue crabs to ensure they get to their destination in good shape.
As we mentioned earlier, getting blue crabs at your table requires a lot of effort.
But if you live near the ocean, the process might be a bit less complicated for crabbers.
If you live far away from the coastal areas, then blue crabs will travel long distances to get to you.
The process is costly and time-consuming.
Transporting perishable goods is expensive.
It is because you must have a temperature-controlled environment like freezers.
So the more times you ship blue crabs, the more expensive it gets.
Also, if a product requires a lot of handling, it will be hard for its price to go down.
Catching blue crabs is difficult
It might be challenging to catch blue crabs.
Most crabbers will tell you that you will need to harvest small amounts of blue crabs at a time.
Also, the crab pots are small, and you need to keep checking regularly.
Most states have regulations on how you should catch blue crabs failure, to which you will get banned.
It is a dangerous and challenging task for crabbers.
Apart from it being an uphill task, there are years when the crab population is low.
It is due to water issues and temperature.
So the supply gets low while there is increased demand, so the anglers increase the pricing to make a living.
Blue crabs have a shorter harvesting time
We mentioned that blue crabs have regulations on hunting them.
These regulations are hard to follow but essential in helping in the depletion of blue crabs.
On top of these regulations is a harvesting season for blue crabs between June and October.
The blue crabs collected during that season should sustain the consumers up to the next harvest.
Collecting enough blue crabs during this season is tedious.
It is a factor that leads to their high price tags.
Are blue crabs worth it?
Blue crabs are worth every coin.
Their claws have light brown meat that is very sweet but very expensive.
Also, blue crabs have the most sought-after parts, like roe.
They make excellent cuisine and are revered in Chinese cooking.
Although they take much time to eat, they are worth the effort.
What is a good price for blue crabs?
The pricing of blue crabs varies because of reasons, like location, size, or freshness.
Live blue crabs are purchased in dozens, and a single crab weighs about a third of a pound.
So it means one dozen blue crabs should cost between $25 to $85.
Also, they can get sold by half-bushel, which is three times more than a dozen.
The costs also greatly vary from the size of the crab because the larger it is, the more meat it contains.
Also, female blue crabs are sold at 50 percent cheaper than male ones because they are small in size.
How to save money on blue crabs
Blue crabs are pretty expensive, but you can still save on them by using some strategies.
Below are some of the tricks you can save some coins on blue crabs.
It would be best if you tried buying blue crabs during the peak season.
It is the harvesting period, so you will find prices way cheaper than buying when they are out of season.
If you live near the coastal areas where blue crabs are, consider buying directly from the docks.
You will get them fresh and at a lower price because no middlemen are involved.
Again if you are buying more than three dozen blue crabs, it’s good to buy them by the bushel.
It is cheaper than buying tens, and it will save you some dollars.
If you live far away from the sea, you can decide to take a trip to a coastal town and eat as many blue crabs as you wish.
Blue crabs alternatives
Apart from blue crabs, there are also alternatives that you can use.
Below are the top 9 blue crabs substitutes.
- Imitation crab
- King crab
- Stone crab
- Arched swimming crab
- Atlantic rock crab
Frequently asked questions
Below are some of the questions that get asked often on blue crabs.
Why are male blue crabs more expensive?
Blue crabs are expensive because they seem to be bigger than female ones.
The female blue crabs stop growing when they reach the maturity period.
Male blue crabs are also meatier than females, and it is one factor that makes them more costly.
Is blue crab more expensive than a red crab?
Blue crab is known to be a smaller version of red crab.
Also, the blue crab is lesser expensive than the red crab but more expensive than the golden crab.
In terms of taste, blue crab is sweeter but has a mild flavor compared to red.
As we sum up this long passage, it is clear to understand why blue crabs are costly.
If you find the prices so high, you plan to visit a coastal town near you.
Here you can eat as many blue crabs as you want until you get satisfied.
Also, you can consider buying them when they are in season because they are a bit cheap.
There is a lot of effort to put blue crabs on the table, and it comes with a price.