Right now, Horseshoe Crabs are being over-harvested in order to be used as bait to catch eel and conch, which is being sold in Asian markets.
Horseshoe Crabs are critical for human health:
Their blue blood contains the component, Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate, LAL. All drugs intended for human consumption must be, as per the Food & Drug Administration, tested using LAL.
Therefore: horseshoe crabs are vital for medical research and treatment!
Horseshoe Crabs are a crucial species in the food web:
Millions of migrating shorebirds stop along Long Island's beaches to consume horseshoe crab eggs. These eggs are the single most important food source for these shorebirds and are vital for them to complete their journey. If there are not enough horseshoe crab eggs for the birds to consume, these birds will die!
Horseshoe Crabs impact the local economy:
Hundreds of millions are spent on the observation of shorebirds. As Long Island's bird populations drop, so does the income related to bird watching and recreation!
We ask that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation protect horseshoe crabs and institute a moratorium on Long Island harvesting.
Institute a Moratorium on Long Island Horseshoe Crab Harvesting
Please help institute a ban on horseshoe harvesting on Long Island's shores. The protection of this species connects to human health / medical research (the LAL in their blood used for surgery, intravenous drugs and prosthetic devices, cannot be synthetically produced).
Also, their eggs are vital to the survival of thousands of migrating shore birds--which, because millions of dollars are brought in due to bird watching and recreation impacts our local economies. If horseshoe crabs are over-harvested, many of these birds will die!
Dawn A. Saliba
Long Island Nature Lovers