Glick Bill Banning Taking Horseshoe Crabs Passes Assembly

June 7, 2024

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District Manhattan, announced today the passage of her legislation A.10140 to prohibit the harvesting of horseshoe crabs from the waters of New York.

Under this bill, no horseshoe crab may be taken in the state, including for commercial or biomedical purposes – unless the taking is for a bona fide educational or research purpose as approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner.

“Horseshoe crabs … have existed on our planet for over 400 million years.”

Assemblymember Glick said, “Horseshoe crabs are a fascinating keystone species that have existed on our planet for over 400 million years. Yet their evolutionary resilience is finally being tested by the actions of humans over the last few decades. Many other species rely on horseshoe crabs and their eggs for their continued survival, including the near-threatened Red Knot and other migratory shorebirds. Current protections have been insufficient to protect the horseshoe crab from a precipitous decline in their population and the New York population has been designated “poor” by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission since 2019. This measure will protect this living fossil from experiencing a total population collapse.”

“We have been depleting the species for decades and it is time to stop.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment said,“The horseshoe crab is one of the oldest species roaming around our planet. It has ambled around the earth for 350 million years and deserves to keep on going! We have been depleting the species for decades and it is time to stop. We are incredibly excited that horseshoe crabs will finally have needed critical protections in New York State so its population can rebound. A giant thank you to both sponsors, Assemblywoman Glick and Senator Hoylman-Sigal for caring about a species that needed help and providing the leadership to make a difference.”

“… declined due to overfishing, habitat loss, and warming waters …”

Erin McGrath, Policy Director, National Audubon Society said, “The Red Knot is one of our longest-distance migrants – traveling from the tip of South America to the Arctic Circle twice each year. During this herculean journey Red Knots rely on horseshoe crab eggs for food so they can refuel and complete their migrations. Unfortunately, as the number of horseshoe crabs has declined due to overfishing, habitat loss, and warming waters, the Red Knot has also suffered alongside it. Protecting horseshoe crabs by banning their harvest in New York State is one important step we can take to ensure the survival of the Red Knot and other shorebirds. We thank Assemblymember Glick and Senator Hoylman-Sigal for championing this legislation and helping to create a better future for vulnerable shorebirds.”

Companion legislation sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal has also passed in the Senate. The bill awaits Governor Hochul’s signature.

Deborah J. Glick represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes the East and West Villages, Tribeca, and SoHo. She is the Chair of the Committee on Environmental Conservation.

The Atlantic horseshoe crab. Public domain photo

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