Delaware scientists say horseshoe crabs could be recovering

June 11, 2019

LITTLE CREEK, Del. (AP) — Delaware environmental officials say the state’s once-dwindling horseshoe crab population could be recovering.

The Delaware News Journal is reporting on data from a federal commission that studies horseshoe crabs along the U.S. eastern coast. It shows stability in numbers and even an increase in some regions, now that some states have regulated their harvests.

The paper says the crab population suffered for decades from overfishing. It’s used for fertilizer, livestock food, bait and also medicine. The crab has unique properties in its blood that is coveted for some medical products.

Some scientists say an alternative to the crab’s blood could do more to boost the population. A synthetic alternative to crab blood has existed for 15 years, but has yet to be widely accepted.

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