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.

Revive & Restore: Biotech Can Save This Threatened Keystone Species & Keep Covid-19 Vaccines Safe

New European guidelines for endotoxin testing went into effect on January 1, 2021. These guidelines allow for the use of the synthetic alternative (rFC) in place of the horseshoe crab-derived endotoxin test (LAL) in drug manufacturing. Especially now, when billions of Covid-19 vaccines are in development, it is time to adopt rFC, the more sustainable, more consistent equivalent test. Watch this video from coalition member Revive & Restore to learn more.

United States Pharmacopeia and rFC

Horseshoe Crabs and COVID-19


Click on each infographic to view full size image. Opens in new window.

Tracking the Red Knot: The nine thousand mile journey of a nine-inch shorebird

We’re excited to bring you a new story map that highlights the arduous 9,000-mile journey of the Red Knot, from its wintering habitat near the tip of South America to its breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra. The Red Knot depends on horseshoe crab eggs to fuel their annual migration.

The map was developed under the direction of Dr. Richard E. Lathrop Jr., Professor of Environmental Monitoring at Rutgers University, and coalition founder Dr. Larry Niles.

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.

West vs East Coast Fisheries Management

The ASMFC’s current management of Atlantic fisheries is not working. Click on the image to learn more.

Horseshoe Crabs and COVID-19

Horseshoe crabs have played a pivotal role in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the image to learn more.


Horseshoe Crab Recovery Coalition Background

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Recombinant Factor C (rFC) Fact Sheet

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Horseshoe Crab Action Month: Sample Op-Ed

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Partner Update – March 29, 2022

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Partner Update – July 11, 2022

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Partner Update – December 20, 2022

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Joseph A.M. Smith, Amanda Dey, Karen Williams, Theo Diehl, Stephanie Feigin, Lawrence J. Niles – August 30, 2022
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