Stone crabs have extremely high reproductive rates, making them less vulnerable to fishing pressure. When stone crabs are caught, fishermen twist off a claw and the crab is returned to the sea. Each crab can regenerate a new claw up to four times in its lifetime. Regenerated claws are easily identifiable.
Population levels of stone crab are estimated to be high and overfishing isn’t occurring, according to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. While a monitoring program was being established in 2004, there has remained a lack of authoritative, scientifically-based assessment of stone crab abundance.