UK crab crisis continues as restaurants warn it could go on for ‘years’

Restaurants across the country have been pulling crab dishes from menus as fishermen report low catch rates.

Fishermen from Norfolk and the south of England reported winter storms have killed many young crabs, however they say there is still an unknown factor causing the shortage.

Some restaurants approached by Catering Today said they thought there was potentially a predator on the loose, eating massive amounts of crustaceans.

It has not posed a problem for some restaurants, however, as London’s Fancy Crab, which has an almost exclusively crab-based menu, told Catering Today “we’re fine” adding “everything is running as usual”.

Some however have been suffering, with Chris Pike of The Pea Green Boat Restaurant in Sidmouth saying: “We haven’t had any crab for three months, we currently don’t have any crabs.

“We use predominantly Lime Bay crabs, we buy our crab from the crab supplier and all they do is collect the crabs, hand pick them and deliver them to us, its a very fresh product obviously you can get other frozen products.

“I believe he buys from the north coast as well as further up the south coast and he can’t get any crabs from there either, so its not a problem that’s restricted to the channel. It’s not on the menu at the moment, we used to do a lovely fresh crab sandwich and we used to do a crab risotto and obviously neither of those two we can offer at the moment.”

Pike told Catering Today on the potential length of the shortage “it could be that they pop back in a week, if there was a problem with baby crabs it could be that it goes on for years” adding “that is mother nature”.

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