Seatuck is pleased to report that Governor Cuomo signed into law two new horseshoe crab protection measures on August 17, 2015. The laws extend the DEC's authority to regulate the horseshoe crab fishery (for two years) while requiring the agency to consider additional strategies to more effectively protect their long-term conservation.
Under the new law, DEC will consider the mandatory use of bait bags in the eel and conch fisheries (which limit horseshoe crab consumption), as well as restrictions that will limit the harvest of 1) female horseshoe crabs, 2) all crabs during peak mating season, and 3) all crabs at important shorebird feeding beaches.
These laws hold the promise of ushering in a new era in the way horseshoe crabs are managed in New York. They’ll move the state towards the goal of reducing the overall horseshoe crab harvest and safeguarding their important role in the coastal ecosystem (including for migratory shorebirds), while minimizing impacts to local conch and eel fisheries that currently rely on the crabs for bait.
Seatuck was at the forefront of proposing the legislation and strongly advocated for its passage earlier this year. Congratulations to Seatuck's Conservation Policy Advocate, John Turner, on this important progress.
Credit and thanks is owed to Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senators Michael Venditto and Ken LaValle for sponsoring and championing these measures through the New York Legislature.
Photo: Don Riepe