News Archives

Archive for 2008

Horseshoe Crabs in the Americas


Charles River Laboratories Expands Operations in Charleston S.C

South Carolina: A biotechnology firm that uses the blood from horseshoe crabs to help drug makers test the safety of injectable medicines and other products said Wednesday that it will increase the size of its Charleston operations by 60 employees over the next five years. Download the pdf.


Bird Imperiled, Feds Rule

Red knot shorebirds that stop in New Jersey on their spring migration are several steps closer to federal endangered species status, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revised its priority list and classed the birds as being in “imminent” peril. Download the pdf.


This Journey to Save the World Begins With a Dwindling Flock of Red Knots

Massachusetts: An ad hoc committee, the Global Conservation Alliance, consisting of Famous,Turnbull and this writer, was formed to save the planet. Well, at the least we would sample the political waters of an issue that had pitted commercial interests against naturalist researchers and bird huggers, and we would look into the possibilities of finding and obtaining a supplementary food provision for the birds. Download the pdf.


Broken Seawall Prompts State to Assess Home Values in Sea Breeze

New Jersey: As the Delaware Bay battered Sea Breeze’s deteriorating year-old seawall, state officials quietly sent two independent appraisers to assess home values in this isolated community. Download the pdf.


NOAA Takes Stock of Assessment Scientists and Comes up Short

The number of experts able to analyze data is decreasing as role of fishery management is increasing. Download the pdf.


Fowler’s Beach Overwash Update

Delaware: In 2006 Hurricane Ernesto caused a beach overwash just north of  Fowler’s Beach Road on  Prime Hook NWR. This washout has been somewhat controversial. On May 12,2008 a Nor’easter brought flooding and overtopped or completely removed beach dunes from the Slaughter Beach Community to Fowler’s Beach Road. This includes the 2006 overwash area, totaling almost 2 miles of beach. Download the pdf.


Dowling’s Environmental Science Expansion Gets Boost

New York: Dowling College got a recent boost when the college took over a waterfront marine laboratory at the former Bluepoints property in West Sayville.

 By next summer, the lab will be filled with horseshoe crabs and other invertebrates for research projects. Download the pdf.


Grace Pierce-Beck Dies at 82

Delaware: One of Delaware’s most influential environmentalists — a petite, soft-spokenwoman who often measured her successes in small, incremental steps in her battles against polluters and in support of Delaware’s fragile shoreline and creatures. Download the pdf.


The Oldest Horseshoe Crabs

At least 150 exceptionally preserved horseshoe crab specimens from six localities within the latest Tremadocian-early Floian (Early Ordovician) of the fully marine Lower and Upper Fezouata Formations of Morocco shows that partial opisthosomal fusion originated even earlier. Download the pdf.


Conch, Cash Beckon on Mt. Hope Bay

Rhode Island: If there is a conch city hiding under the waters of Mt. Hope Bay, Joe Strong is going to find it. Fishing since he was a teenager, Mr. Strong, who is now 81, decided 15 years ago to try his hand at conch fishing, going after large sea snails in baited pots. He has been at it ever since. Download the pdf.


Gandys Beach Residents Fear DEP Will Not Let Them Save Their Homes

New Jersey: At high tide, the water rushes in beneath the houses here on Gandys Beach. It flows between the stilts, over the foundation and leaves water marks on the wood piling. Ten to 15 years ago, the Delaware Bay didn’t get this close. Download the pdf.


It’s Called a Jubilee, But The Crabs Aren’t Happy & We Shouldn’t Be

Chesapeake Bay: When John Smith wrote of his Chesapeake explorations, he harked back to the many naturalobservations made during his voyages. In his accounts, he alluded to-not always with proper credit-theobservations of other Jamestown settlers about various locations in the lower Chesapeake. Download the pdf.


Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Board Approves Horseshoe Crab Addendum V

The Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Management Board approved Addendum V to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Horseshoe Crab. The Addendum maintains the suite of management measures contained in Addendum IV for an additional year. Download the pdf


Sociologist Studies Cape Conch Fishery

Massachusetts: Snails are considered an esoteric foreign sort of delicacy, certainly not associated with a New England fishery. But our largest snail, the channel whelk or conch, is a multi-million dollar product based around Cape Cod. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs Increasing in Delaware Bay

Efforts to rebuild the Delaware Bay horseshoe crab population seem to be working, according to recent assessments.  Download the pdf.


Chatham Mussels and Horseshoe Crabs at Cotuit Town Landing


Massachusetts: Wade Behlman of Hyannis, is shown at the Cotuit Town Landing with Chatham mussels and horseshoe crabs that he uses as bait for the conch he gathers outside the Cotuit Harbor. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crab Fishery Closes

Massachusetts: The horseshoe crab fishery closes today, July 7, to allow the state Division of Marine Fisheries to account for the number of horseshoe crabs landed in Massachusetts so far this year. Download the pdf.


Delaware Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal to Close Horseshoe Crab Fishery

Delaware: On June 24, the Delaware Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by a consortium of environmental groups seeking to close Delaware’s horseshoe crab fishery. download the pdf.


Delaware’s Supreme Court Rules on Horseshoe Crab Harvesting

Delaware: The American Littoral Society, Inc., Delaware Audubon Society, the Delaware Riverkeeper, acting on behalf of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and New Jersey Audubon Society seek to reverse the Superior Court’s decision invalidating a moratorium on horseshoe crab harvesting. Download the pdf.


Restrictions Reduce Horseshoe Crab Fishing

New York: Conservation and commerce recently collided on a moonlit beach off Dune Road here when scientists counting horseshoe crabs mating in the sandy shallows bumped into a fisherman rapidly throwing the same crabs into his boat. Download the pdf.


Blue Bloods

Massachusetts: Fears about overfishing and habitat loss spur count of state’s horseshoe crabs. Download the pdf.


Crab Poachers, Beware!

New York: Federal officers are ramping up patrols in Jamaica Bay in search of one of the most obscure criminals on land or sea: horseshoe crab poachers. Download the pdf.


State’s Coastal Habitat Could be Altered

Delaware Bay: Storm comes at a bad time for species who are migrating or spawning, such as shorebirds and horseshoe crabs. download the pdf.


Coast Thrashed by Winds and Rain

Delaware: A late-season coastal storm battered Delaware with heavy winds and torrential rains, forcing evacuations along Delaware Bay in Kent County and knocking out power to tens of thousands. Download the pdf.


Sea Story

Connecticut: Kids pen bilingual (English/Spanish) book about the plight of the horseshoe crab. Download the pdf.


Sacred Heart University Scientists Expand Horseshoe Crab Study

New York: Professors of biology spearheading a study of horseshoe crab populations in the Long Island Sound will expand their program this year by training volunteers from partnering organizations in three states to participate in a census of the animals. Download the pdf.


Under Pressure: Horseshoe Crabs Appear To Be Dwindling

Massachusetts: Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday held a conference dedicated to the ancient arthropod. Download the pdf.


Review of The 2007 ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Fishery Management Plan


This review was prepared by the ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Plan Review Team, and presented to the ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Management Board. Download the pdf.


Senate Panel Moves for Lengthy Ban on Horseshoe Crabbing

New Jersey: The state Senate Environment Committee on Monday released legislation to impose a long-term moratorium on horseshoe crab harvests, but senators said they will follow up the measure with amendments later to reduce a harsh $10,000 fine proposed for illegal possession of the helmet-shaped arthropods used as commercial fishing bait. Downlaod the pdf.


Horseshoe-crab Harvest Set at 0, Voids Moratorium

New Jersey: Last month, the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council voted 5-4 to overturn a state moratorium on horseshoe crab harvesting imposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection. On Thursday afternoon, the council voted unanimously to set the harvest level for 2008 at zero horseshoe crabs. Download the pdf.


Groups Criticize Corzine for “Business as Usual”

New Jersey: The New Jersey Audubon Society and Sierra Club are pressing their criticism of Gov. Corzine’s nominations this week to the state Marine Fisheries Council, with arguments that the panel needs representation from interests outside the fishing community. Download the pdf.


New Jersey Imposes Moratorium on Harvest and Possession of Horseshoe Crabs

New Jersey: Assembly, No. 2260, State of New Jersey, 213th Legislature. Imposes moratorium on harvest and possession of horseshoe crabs. As reported by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on February 28, 2008, with amendments. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs Highlight Divide Between Wildlife Managers, Activists

New Jersey: Gil Ewing recently voted to continue a ban on horseshoe crab harvesting on the Delaware Bay, but for an unusual reason. Ewing, a member of New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council for two decades and its longtime chairman, didn’t want to lose another species. download the pdf.


Oldest Horseshoe Crab Fossil Found, 445 Million Years Old

Canada: Few modern animals are as deserving of the title “living fossil” as the lowly horseshoecrab. Seemingly unchanged since before the Age of Dinosaurs, these venerable sea creatures can now claim a history that reaches back almost half-a billion years. In a collaborative research article published recently in the British Journal Palaeontology, a team of Canadians cientists revealed rare new horseshoe crab fossils from 445 million year-old Ordovician age rocks in central andnorthern Manitoba, which are about 100 million years older than any previously known forms. Download the pdf.


PBS Focuses on Fragile Shorebird at Center of N.J. Battle

New Jersey: A court appeal in Trenton scheduled for Tuesday and the Sunday premiere of a PBS “Nature” television special are the latest salvos in the long battle over New Jersey horseshoe crabs and shorebirds — a fight that will come to a head again in seven days. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crab Limit Set at 100,000

Delaware: Delaware environment officials will stick with their planned harvest of 100,000 male-only horseshoe crabs this year, despite a decision by New Jersey to extended its existing two-year harvest ban. Download the pdf.


ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee Report

The Technical Committee met on January 17th to review recent research, monitoring, and landings in anticipation of a Management Board discussion about starting a new addendum. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Asia


Horseshoe Crab – A Valuable Marine Creature

Malaysia:  About 26 phyla of marine organisms are found in the ocean, arthropods with over 35,000 varieties, contribute four fifth of all marine animal species. Download the pdf.


A Bigger And Better Heart, Thanks To This Crab

India: The horseshoe crab, described as the world’s oldest living fossil, could hold the key to the repair of damaged hearts. Scientists from Pune have found that the crab has a molecule with the potential to convert stem cells into the heart’s beating cells. Download the pdf.


早岐瀬戸にアメリカカブトガニ成体 国内初確認、在来種淘汰の危険性も

Japan: 佐世保市の早岐瀬戸で、国内には生息していないアメリカカブトガニの雄の成体が見つかった。絶滅が危惧(きぐ)されている在来種の保護に取り組む「日本カブトガニを守る会」によると、国内の自然環境下で生息が確認されたのは初めて。Download the pdf.


Students Release Baby Horseshoe Crabs in Penghu

Taiwan: Baby Asian horseshoe crabs Tachypleus tridentatus bred in captivity were released into the wild off Taiwan’s outlying island of Penghu in an effort to conserve the horseshoe crab species. This activity was held by the Penghu Marine Biology Research Center, Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute and the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA). According to a recent survey on horseshoe crabs, the species no longer has any habitats in Taiwan proper, and its remaining habitats in Kinmen and Penghu are currently under threat because of human activity and over-exploitation, despite the designation of reservation zones. Download the pdf.


New Incubation Ground for Horseshoe Crabs in Penghu Launched

Taiwan: The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA)announced Friday that a new “incubation ground” for horseshoe crabs has been established in Cingwan,Penghu and predicted that the facility will greatly help to preserve the rare species that inhabits the outlying islet. Download the pdf.


Humans Threaten Horseshoe Crabs

Taiwan: The population of horseshoe crabs in Kinmen has been declining since 2003, indicating that human activities are gradually beginning to threaten the survival of the species, biologists reported yesterday. Download the pdf.


Second Coming of a Creature From Ancient Times

Hong Kong: The dwindling number of horseshoe crabs, in existence for over 400 million years, is getting new blood with the first release in Hong Kong of artificially bred creatures. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs Galloping Towards Extinction

India: Orissa is home to a wide variety of aquatic life, but the horseshoe crab and many freshwater turtles found here are on the verge of extinction. Download the pdf.



Japan: 笠岡市の笠岡湾沖で若い雄のカブトガニが見つかり、市立カブトガニ博物館が引き取った。Download the pdf.


Flawed Wildlife Law

Malaysia: Our wildlife law calls for saving wildlife but it has limited powers to do so. Download the pdf.


Baby Horseshoe Crabs Released off Kinmen

Taiwan: Some 350,000 baby Asian horseshoe crabs bred in captivity were released into the wild off Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen yesterday in an effort to conserve the “living fossil” species. Download the pdf.


Biodiversity Loss Hurts Drug Discovery, Says Medical Book

Singapore: A new generation of drugs made from nature, from antibiotics to treatments for cancer, may be lost unless the world acts to stop biodiversity loss, according to a new book. These developments could come from chemicals made by frogs, bears and pine trees, but the authors of “Sustaining Life” warned that species loss from climate change and pollution would hit the future of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. download the pdf.


Biodiversity Loss Hurts Drug Discovery


Singapore: A new generation of drugs made from nature, from antibiotics to treatments for cancer, may be lost unless the world acts to stop biodiversity loss, according to a new book. Download the pdf.


Chiayi’s Haomeiliao Nature Preserve

Taiwan: Just a few kilometers from southern Taiwan’s most famous seafood market, there’s a conservation area that’s dedicated to the protection, rather than consumption, of sea creatures. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Europe

ERDG in the News


Winter 2008 Newsletter

Happy Holiday’s to all our members and supporters. We hope this newsletter finds you well. It’s been a good year for the North American horseshoe crab population and our efforts to protect them. Building community is what we do, and it has been a busy year. Our Winter 2008 Newsletter will give you some of the highlights. Download the pdf.


Local Young Artist Pictures on Exhibit in China and Japan

New Jersey: What if your child’s painting wasn’t just brought home to be placed on the refrigerator door, but hung on a wall in a museum? Or if the painting went on to be displayed in other museums in other countries?  Download the pdf.


Film Screening: U.S. Premiere of Witness to Hiroshima

Maryland: Documentary Short “Witness to Hiroshima” directed by Kathy Sloane and co-produced by Michele Mason and Kathy Sloane, had its United States premiere at the International Film Series ” War & Cinema”, held at the University of Maryland, Hoff Theater. Read more »


LAL Users Group Newsletter

Glenn Gauvry, President of the Ecological Research & Development Group, who discusses the importance of conservation of Limulus and other horseshoe crab species, provides the feature article. Download the pdf.


He Speaks For The Horseshoe Crab

Delaware: Glenn Gauvry can give new meaning to your next walk along a Delaware beach. For more than a decade, he has been educating Delawareans and others about the plight of a familiar face on Delaware beaches: The horseshoe crab. Download the pdf.


Oldest Creature on The Planet For Sale

India: Known as the “living fossil” the neglected horseshoe crab is the latest to join the long list of ”endangered species.” Considered an important organism for its medicinal value in pharmaceutical, clinical and food industries, the Indian horseshoe crab is also useful as an indicator of the health of the coastal zone. Download the pdf.


Full Moon and Empty Beaches: Horseshoe Crabs a No-Show

New Jersey: The full-moon tide Monday night flooded the Delaware bayshore, heralding an annual natural phenomenon – the spawning of horseshoe crabs. But as the tide receded Tuesday on the rainy, windswept Reeds Beach, not one of the prehistoric-looking crabs could be found. Download the pdf.


The Eco-Activists

Delaware: When a major industrial polluter violates its permits, when thousands of fish wash ashore, when a highway proposal threatens the tranquility of the area, these are the people who look out for the rest of us. Download the pdf.


Limulus Lately

Harvest caps appear to be doing the trick for Limulus polyphemus, aka the horseshoe crab, prized by shorebirds for its nutritious eggs and by humans for its unique and valuable blue blood. Download the pdf.


Local Students Become Published Artists

New Jersey: West Cape May Students’ Art Work was published in The Ecological Research & Development Group’s annual anthology, “Horseshoe Crabs & the Arts.” Download the pdf.


Sides Differ on Using Horseshoe Crabs as Bait

Delaware: With New Jersey poised to extend its ban on taking horseshoe crabs for fishing bait, commercial fishing advocates are arguing that a limited harvest of only male crabs — similar to a crabbing season upheld last year by a Delaware state court — can be allowed without further endangering red knots, migratory shorebirds that feed on crab eggs along Delaware Bay. Download the pdf.