Researchers see horseshoe crab resurgence

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June 1, 2010 6:06:46 AM PDT
Researchers say an abundance of horseshoe crab eggs on the beaches of Delaware Bay this year could be a sign that a decade of fisheries management is paying off.

State wildlife biologist Kevin Kalasz says the Delaware Shorebird monitoring team is finding beaches green with eggs.

From 1998 and 2006, Atlantic coastal states reduced their harvest of horseshoe crabs, which are used as bait in conch and eel fisheries. The greatest reductions came in Delaware and New Jersey.

Shorebirds migrating north to breed stop by to fatten up just as crabs are spawning.

U.S. Geological Survey scientist David Smith says the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission is considering a new approach that would link a sustainable horseshoe crab harvest to red knot abundance.