Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network™

Conservation Challenges

In the USA, we have a governmental body representing the 15 Atlantic coast states, called the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission or ASMFC. One of its tasks, is to develop and implement an Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) focusing on the sustainability of the Atlantic horseshoe crab species. A considerable amount of data generated from multiple source points, aid the ASMFC in establishing annual harvesting quotas for both the bait fisheries and use in the production of LAL, an endotoxin detection test crucial for the safety of all parenthetical and medically implanted devices. Please see “Protecting Health”

In Asia, home to three of the world’s four horseshoe crab species, developing a fisheries management plan to protect horseshoe crabs from over-harvesting is more complex, for not only is its range extensive, it encompasses a host of countries with very different social, economic and environmental priorities. Without a centralized governmental body to regulate and enforce harvesting strategies, it is more difficult to institute meaningful change, consequently the population of the three Asian horseshoe crab species throughout much of its range is trending downward. As harvesting pressure for human consumption and the production of TAL grows (the Asian equivalency to LAL), coupled with rapid loss of habitat, the remaining healthy, often unregulated populations, are the first to be exploited.

This section was created to bring awareness to Who is doing What and Where. It is our hope to facility cross cultural cooperation that inspires and assists individuals, communities and organizations to solve problems, change behaviors and promote sound decisions in order to achieve sustainable horseshoe crab populations throughout its spawning range.

Assessing the Population
Mortality:Threats to the Horseshoe Population
Shoreline Development and Habitat Loss
Biological And Environmental Impacts
Socioeconomic Impacts

More to explore