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Why are horseshoe crabs important?

The horseshoe crab is one of the oldest living species on our planet. Find out what makes this ancient species so special.

Why are horseshoe crabs harvested?

The horseshoe crab has historically been harvested for several uses including fertilizer and bait, and more recently for their blood.

Why is current horseshoe crab management not working?

The current harvest for horseshoe crabs is unfortunately mismanaged, leading to lower horseshoe crab populations across the Atlantic Coast.

Are horseshoe crabs important to fish?

Horseshoe crab eggs and larvae provide a rich and energy-dense source of food for many species of fish in the Delaware Bay

What is lysate and why is it important?

Limulus amoebocyte lysate is a chemical extracted from horseshoe crab blood that is used to test pharmaceutical drugs and equipment for contamination. Learn more about this process and the alternative that can prevent the bleeding of more crabs.


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How are horseshoe crabs being harvested?

Horseshoe crabs are harvested in three main ways: bait, bleeding, and bycatch. Click to learn more about the impact these methods have on our horseshoe crab populations.

What is lysate?

Click for a primer on Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate, how it is obtained, and the alternatives that are available to the pharmaceutical industry.

The Glass is ¼ Full

Shorebirds depend on a surplus of horseshoe crab eggs to feed upon during their yearly migration. Click to learn why the reduction in horseshoe crab populations is affecting shorebirds.

Fish Depend on Horseshoe Crab Eggs to Survive

Horseshoe crab eggs and their larvae provision all sorts of life in Delaware Bay. Click to see what makes the horseshoe crab a keystone species in the marine ecosystem.


Maike Piehler, Ruth Roeder, Sina Blessing and Johannes Reich – March 16, 2020
Rebecca L. Anderson, Winsor H. Watson III, and Christopher C. Chabot – December 2013
S Karpanty, J Fraser, J Berkson, L Niles, A Dey, E Smith – 2006