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ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Board Initiates Development of Addendum to
Harvest Reductions

The Commission's Horseshoe Crab Management Board authorized development
an addendum to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for
Crab to reduce or eliminate harvest of Delaware Bay horseshoe crabs.
Draft Addendum will propose a two-year harvest moratorium in New Jersey

and Delaware, with an exemption for harvest for biomedical use. It
also present options to restrict harvest of horseshoe crabs of Delaware

Bay origin in jurisdictions outside of the Bay.

The proposed action responds to public concern regarding the horseshoe

populations and their ecological role in the Delaware Bay. While there
a number of scientific reviews on the status of horseshoe crabs, there
no peer-reviewed coastwide estimate of horseshoe crab abundance. The
Fish and Wildlife Service Shorebird Technical Committee has indicated
the red knot, one of many shorebird species that feed upon horseshoe
eggs, is at low population levels. Red knots have shown no sign of
recovery, despite a four-fold reduction in horseshoe crab landings
1998. The Shorebird Technical Committee concluded a moratorium of
horseshoe crab harvest could provide more eggs for the birds to feed
The Board initiated the addendum process to focus further restrictions
crab harvest in the Delaware Bay region, which is the epicenter of
horseshoe crab production along the coast as well as a critical
area for many migratory shorebirds including the red knot.

Several recent horseshoe crab population modeling approaches are
being explored. The Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee conducted a
general review of the new models. However, it will critically review
models, particularly the surplus production model, and provide the
specific recommendations regarding the appropriateness of sending the
models forward for peer review.

The Management Board will meet in February 2006 to review and consider

approval of the draft addendum for public comment and review. For more

information, please contact Braddock Spear, Fisheries Management Plan
Coordinator, at (202) 289-6400 or <[email protected]>.

5,268 Posts
Do people eat these things? I heard they are related more to a spider then a crab. They kinda freak me out when I catch one or see one. Must be my fear of spiders that makes them give me the creeps

5,268 Posts
Scew that I will stick to chicken eggs. I think I would rather eat a Crow before eating egs from one of them Ugly freaking things. I heard there blood is Blue in my eyes the only thing that should have Blue blood is an Alien :)

6,495 Posts
Horseshoes are harvested commercially for bait in Eel and Whelk fishing, and also for use in biomedical testing.

Commercial whelk and American eel pot fishermen along the Atlantic coast use horseshoe crabs as one of their primary baits. Although there was very little reliable economic data describing these industries, the researchers relied on best industry judgment to develop estimates of market supply and demand in these fisheries.
The whelk pot fishery contributes about $11 million to $15 million in annual output and 270 to 370 jobs. The eel pot fishery creates about $2 million and 70 jobs. The watermen have to rent houses, buy food, clothing, etc. which creates an additional benefit to the economy. It was estimated the social value of the whelk pot fishery to be about $9 million. The estimated annual social value of the eel fishery is about $12 million. The total value of the conch and eel pot fisheries together is about $21 million.

The biomedical industry produces a valuable substance known as limulus ameboecyte lysate (LAL) from the blood of horseshoe crabs. This substance is used to test a variety of biomedical products and injectable drugs (e.g. vaccines) for the presence of endotoxins. There are three U.S. firms that produce most of the LAL in the world. They generate annual revenues of $60 million.
These three companies located in Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina contribute from $22 million to $35 million in their local region, or $73 to $96 million totally. There are between 145 to 195 jobs in each area, or about 440 to 540 jobs in total. The employees rent homes, buy food, go to the movies, etc. This creates an additional benefit to the economy. It was found that the LAL industry generates a substantial annual social welfare value benefit of at least $150 million. At the present the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that pharmaceutical and biomedical manufacturers use LAL to test end-products for endotoxins before releasing them to the market. Currently research is being done to find an alternative to LAL, but it will probably be five to ten years before it will be commercially available.

6,495 Posts

I seems you didn't read my post. It states exactly the horeshoes value in medical use,(LAL).

The biomedical industry produces a valuable substance known as limulus ameboecyte lysate (LAL) from the blood of horseshoe crabs.
This link explains the horseshoes connection to the spider families.

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