Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Thursday, May 27, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
William Cooke, Director of Government Relations, 518-461-9947 (mobile)


CCE Releases New Horseshoe Crab Report & Ten Point Protection Plan

Farmingdale, NY – Tonight, as the full moon rises, an ancient ritual begins once again with the 350 million year-old mating season of the Horseshoe Crabs. The female horseshoe crabs crawl ashore to furiously burrow down to deposit eggs on our beaches. Unfortunately, harvest season for Horseshoe Crabs comes into full swing, resulting in the taking of hundreds of thousands of crabs. These harvests have resulted in reducing Horseshoe Crab populations. To protect Horseshoe Crabs and dependent species, CCE announces a new report reviewing east coasts states policies on harvesting Horseshoe Crabs and presents 10 critical recommendations to protect this struggling species.

“CCE is calling for an immediate moratorium on the harvesting of Horseshoe Crabs. An immediate moratorium will give states time to implement recommendations to enhance sustainable populations of Horseshoe Crabs and dependent species. East Coast states should be acting together to protect this species for the ecological diversity and health of our waterways,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director.

CCE’s report, Horseshoe Crabs: Current State and Federal Policies and Ten Recommendations to Protect this Keystone Species discusses Horseshoe Crabs as an integral part of the ecosystem. Many species including migratory birds, sport fish, and sharks depend on the Horseshoe Crabs for survival. The biomedical community depends upon the unique properties of Horseshoe Crab blood, with its unique properties, to test new potentially lifesaving pharmaceuticals for human use. Tragically, Horseshoe Crab populations are being decimated by habitat degradation and excessive harvesting for bait to catch eel and conch. “Horseshoe Crabs have survived for 350 million years. They walked with the dinosaurs, and due to unsustainable management, their populations and dependent species like the endangered Red Knot, are going extinct. New York, Connecticut, and all of the Atlantic States must enact an immediate moratorium so we can save these creatures,” said William Cooke, Director of Government Relations.

CCE is recommending an immediate moratorium on harvesting of Horseshoe Crabs. During the moratorium CCE is urging implementation of the “Ten Recommendations to protect Horseshoe Crabs” identified in the report. These include: a prohibition on taking female Horseshoe Crabs – increasing chances of survival for Horseshoe Crabs and dependent species. Connecticut already has this policy and New York should follow suit. Also recommended is a prohibition on the interstate transfer of Horseshoe Crabs, a ban on the interstate transfer of Horseshoe Crabs and creating Horseshoe Crab Sanctuaries.

“Our waters are incredibly resilient, but we must protect marine species that makes aquatic ecosystem diverse and healthy. Economically, recreational and commercial fishing, bird-watching and tourism bring in millions of dollars to our region every year. The Horseshoe Crab is a keystone species to sport fish and migratory birds. Protecting the Horseshoe Crab is an investment in the sustainable future of our waters,” concluded Esposito.

CCE’s report can be found online.


Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  5/28/10