PETA Goes After Nation’s Crab Industry for Live Dismemberment

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2022

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Marathon, Fla.

After graphic new video footage from PETA revealed that workers on a vessel that supplied Keys Fisheries—the largest seller of stone crabs in Florida—tore the limbs off live crabs and tossed the mutilated animals back into the ocean to suffer and die, the group is hitting the streets to protest those who source crab flesh from the company, and its first target is local favorite Joe’s Stone Crab. Keys Fisheries also supplies Whole Foods and Winn-Dixie stores throughout the state.

In Miami Beach today, a PETA supporter in red bodypaint writhes atop a dinner plate surrounded by protesters armed with a banner reading, “It’s a Rip-Off! I Feel Pain, and I Need My Claws!”

PETA’s footage also shows workers slamming a shark against the boat and appearing to carve out chunks of the animal’s flesh; tearing the mantles, which house the hearts and other organs, off live octopuses; and tearing live lobsters’ tails off before tossing them back into the water—prompting the group to file a criminal complaint with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The FWC requires that claws be torn off live stone crabs—which causes agonizing pain and would otherwise be illegal under the state’s cruelty-to-animals law—so PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, is now challenging the requirement with a formal rule-making petition to ban this conduct. PETA’s attorneys are making the case that the FWC allows Florida’s $30 million annual stone crab claw industry to operate in an illegal manner.

“Crabs need their claws to feed and defend themselves, yet they’re being torn apart limb by limb and tossed overboard,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on diners to leave crabs in peace and off their plates and urging Florida officials to grant them the same protection that all other animals have under state law.”

The FWC has admittedly “found a very high mortality rate associated with declawing,” discovering that 40.8% of crabs died when one claw was torn off and that 62.9% of crabs died when both claws were torn off.

Broadcast-quality video footage is available for download here, and photographs are available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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