Horseshoe crab population rebounding

July 17, 2008 6:24:02 AM PDT
Recent assessment show that efforts to rebuild the horseshoe crab population in the Delaware Bay seem to be working.

But Braddock Spear of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says the apparent rebound in the crab population hasn't reversed a decline in shorebirds - most notably the red knot.

Spears outlined two options for regional crab management at a hearing in Dover on Wednesday.

One allows Delaware and New Jersey to increase annual harvest quotas by about 50,000 crabs, with restrictions during peak spawning seasons.

The other, which is already in place in Delaware, restricts the harvest during peak spawning season and limits the annual harvest to 100,000 male crabs.

The commission will make a final decision and states must comply by October.