Oh no!

By Melissa Locker
April 16, 2021
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Don't get crabby, but your summertime feasts may look a little different this year. That's because Myrtle Beach is experiencing a crab leg shortage and customers, restaurants, and seafood sellers large and small are all feeling the pinch, according to Myrtle Beach Online.

While we're not suggesting we just cancel summer because that would be a little dramatic (…maybe?) it does mean that you might want to call the restaurant to ask if they are still stocking crab legs before you haul the family down to the buffet. According to Myrtle Beach Online, it's not just Myrtle Beach that is experiencing the crab drought, but visitors just might notice it more since there are so many great crab shacks and buffets that feature crab legs. They are basically a tourist attraction at this point.

According to the news outlet, the shortage is due to a one-two punch of increased demand (everyone wants crab legs!) and a supply that has decreased due to the pandemic shuttering the fisheries and distributors. While snow and king crabs from Canada and Russia can work in a pinch, it's the Alaska ones that are most popular with foodies and the hardest to find right now.

Crab legs with butter and lemon
Credit: LauriPatterson/Getty Images

A lot of people have been heading to the beach to get a little fresh air after spending so much time at home sheltering in place, which means more people lining up at buffets looking for crab legs. That means the snow crabs that do make it to Myrtle Beach are hot commodities. You may remember this from freshman economics, but increased demand and decreased supply mean prices are going up. If you are lucky enough to spot some crab legs at a beachfront restaurant, you may have to pay a little more for them.

The good news is that the short supply won't last forever. Alaska has already approved a bigger crab haul for next year. While snow and king crab legs may be harder to find this year, there are other ways to enjoy the crustaceans, like blue crabs in a crab boil and she-crab soup. But if nothing but clarified butter and a spritz of lemon will do, well, you can always try pairing them with a corn dog. Desperate times and all.