Happy Horseshoe Crab Day!

Today is Fathers Day. If you’re a father: enjoy! If you’re honoring a father: try to do it the other 364 days of the year too.

But fathers are not today’s only honorees. Today is also Happy International Horseshoe Crab Day!

So — whether you got your favorite horseshoe crab a gift or not — read on. Alert “06880” reader/Friends of Animals communications director Scott Smith writes:

I know today is International Horseshoe Crab Day because Friends of Animals’ latest campaign is a call for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to ban the harvesting of horseshoe crabs in the state. (Click here for details.)

We heard quickly from State Representative Joe Gresko of Stratford, who 2 years ago got Connecticut to ban harvesting on his local beaches. He said he’d heard that DEEP is considering restrictions this season. They may be around the next high tide — June 24 — when horseshoe crabs are most active in spawning.

Horseshoe crabs at Compo Beach.

Friends of Animals will proceed with legislation to ban harvesting next season. I’m sure we’ll work with State Senator Will Haskell on that.

Connecticut Audubon is part of this effort, as migratory shorebirds rely on horseshoe crabs to fuel their journeys further north. We’ll also work with Jennifer Mattei, a Sacred Heart University professor who runs Project Limulus, which does an annual community-based counting and tagging project.

Perhaps there’s interest among “06880” readers in forming a Westport group to count horseshoe crabs. It seems like a fun way for families to engage. If so, click “Comments” below.

Personally, I try to swim at Compo Beach nearly every evening in summer. On Thursday I went to the rocky beach at the entrance to the marina. Few people swim there, which might explain why several sets of horseshoe crabs were doing their thing.

Other stretches were pockmarked with shallow holes made earlier by females. I saw several smaller males park themselves in the depressions for a minute, so it seems a lot of egg-laying is going on.

Otherwise, my sightings of horseshoe crabs this year elsewhere at Compo have been few and far between.

A closeup (Photos/Scott Smith)

3 responses to “Happy Horseshoe Crab Day!

  1. Pegeen Gaherin

    Horseshoe Crabs are disappearing here on Cape Cod
    What is the purpose in harvesting them?

  2. Rindy Higgins

    Pegeen Gaherin, they are harvested to make fertilizer but primarily now for their blood which is extremely helpful for human beings. But overharvesting obviously depletes their population which has enough challenges with warming and polluted waters and habitat destruction, not to mention effects on animals dependent upon them within the food chain such as birds feeding on their eggs.

  3. Pegeen Gaherin

    Rindy thank you.

    I think harvesting them for For fertilizer is despicable.

    I had heard that there is something beneficial medically for humans

    But I still object we are just wiping out this planet – I know that’s hyperbolic…
    “ pave paradise put up parking lot”