Washington, DC, August 22, 2008 - Today the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission?s (ASMFC) Horseshoe Crab Management Board once again failed to take the necessary action of approving a moratorium on horseshoe crab fishing in key states. In doing so, they acquiesced to the short-term interests of a few crab fishermen while ignoring the immediate and long-term needs of an imperiled shorebird, which relies on the crabs? eggs for its survival.
Instead of imposing a ban on horseshoe crab take, the board opted to maintain current fishing quotas, still permitting each state to take 100,000 male crabs per year.
From the Surfbirds galleries. Red Knot, Cook Co.,IL, Montrose Point 5-24-08 ? Paul Dacko
?By maintaining harvest levels rather than adopting a temporary moratorium on all horseshoe crab take, the Commission has dangerously underestimated the needs of both the crab and the Red Knot,? said Darin Schroeder, Vice President for Conservation Advocacy at American Bird Conservancy. ?The ASMFC Management Board has failed to live up to its responsibility as an environmental steward, and ignored the Red Knot?s economic benefits. Each year birdwatchers flock to beaches in Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia to see the staging birds. Soon, there could be no more knots to watch, and it will be too late to act.?