Op-Ed: "New Hope for Horseshoe Crabs — and the Shorebirds That Depend on Them"

"A globetrotting bird, a crab that’s not a crab, a marine snail and a fish whose reproduction is so mysterious it fascinated Freud — they all walk into a sandbar. Unbeknownst to them, their future — no joke — hung in the balance of a decision made this November by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

For the past decade the commission has maintained a strict ban on fishing female horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay — not because it’s full of diehard feminists, but because horseshoe crab eggs are a hot commodity. Fish and shorebirds hurry to gobble up these fat-rich, blueish-green gifts from the sea.

None of these diners are hungrier than the red knot. This robin-sized bird flies from the southernmost tip of South America all the way up to the Arctic to breed. Thousands of endangered red knots stop in Delaware Bay to bulk up to prepare for the remainder of their migration. How much weight they gain is the difference between a successful brood or a total reproductive bust."

Abigail Costigan reports for The Revelator December 16, 2022.

Source: The Revelator, 12/21/2022