Free feedings at 1:00PM, 5:00PM, 8:00PM and10:00PM are open to restaurant guests and visitors alike.
Want to have a personal up-close encounter with sharks? Now you can at The Stoned Crab Restaurant, which today formally introduced its new Shark Feeding attraction at the popular waterfront restaurant that’s world renowned for its always fresh fish and seafood.
According to restaurant owner Chris Holland, the free shark feeding demonstrations are open to restaurant guests and the general public seven days a week, weather permitting, at 1:00PM, 5:00PM, 8:00PM and 10:00PM.
Bait, long feeding tongs and supervision are provided to guests who would like to experience feeding a shark themselves. “Over the years, The Stoned Crab dock has become home to a large number of juvenile and adult nurse sharks. They started to mill around the dock area of the restaurant when the fishing boats came in with their catch. Now they live here. They are not penned in any way. The sharks have become such a fixture of the restaurant that we decided to offer the encounter experience to our Stoned Crab restaurant guests and now the general public.”
The nurse sharks span the entire lifecycle from babies to adults. The current baby sharks are named Flip and Flop. The ‘teenage’ sharks are named Arial, Nemo, Sandy, Splash, Ibis, Fin and Pearl. The ‘parent’ sharks are named Doc, Neptune, Jupiter, Trident and Titanic — with Titanic being the biggest of them all at 6-feet or more in length and 250lbs or more in weight.
The restaurant has an on-staff Shark Trainer, Robin, who knows each of the sharks by sight. During the demonstration and feedings Robin relays stories of when each shark arrived, which were born there, and what their unique personalities are like. Underwater lighting has been installed so that the nighttime feeding takes on its own special character, Holland explained. “In addition, we’ve installed signage with the names of the sharks and their descriptions. Because so many guests asked us for shark merchandise, we’ve created a whole line of fun shark-themed items that are now available in the restaurant and our hotel gift shop.”
Holland said the entire Key West community’s reaction to the shark feedings has been very warm and supportive. “We’ve added a new fun family experience to the Key West list of things to do,” he emphasized. “Families come to lunch or dinner, enjoy a great local seafood meal and get to experience a natural wonder they’ll remember forever. It’s a great experience for anyone vacationing in Key West, but the beauty and grace of these wild animals makes an especially big impression on kids. Key West hotel concierges and the Key West Trolleys all send folks here for our food and the shark feeding experience. People show up from all over the world to watch it and try it.”
Click here to watch a video of The Stoned Crab’s shark feeding experience. Click here for hi-res photography.