NEWS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
July 3, 2008
Vol. 38, No. 314
For more information, contact Roy Miller, Fisheries, 302-739-9914, or Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
Horseshoe Crab Addendum to Be Topic of July 16 Public Hearing
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Fish and Wildlife, will host a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 in the DNREC auditorium, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, regarding the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s horseshoe crab draft Addendum V.
The current Addendum IV is due to expire on Sept. 30, 2008. The new draft addendum was initiated to continue horseshoe crab management in Delaware Bay and contains all the current provisions of Addendum IV as options. These include a delayed, male-only harvest in New Jersey and Delaware; a delayed harvest in Maryland; and a prohibition on landing of horseshoe crabs in Virginia from federal waters from Jan. 1 through June 7.
Based on the most recent surveys of horseshoe crabs, it appears that management measures in Addendum IV and previous management plans are resulting in increased horseshoe crab abundance. A horseshoe crab trawl survey administered by Virginia Tech shows increases over the past four to five years in all demographic groups of horseshoe crabs in ocean waters near the Delaware Bay. A survey of spawning crabs on the beaches of Delaware Bay indicate stable female spawning activity and increased male spawning over the past nine years.
However, horseshoe crab management is a multispecies issue. Despite the positive signs in population growth of horseshoe crabs around Delaware Bay, red knots, one of many shorebird species that feed upon horseshoe crab eggs, show no sign of recovery. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Shorebird Technical Committee is expected to take a closer look this spring at the most recent shorebird survey data.
Public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 18, 2008 and should be forwarded by mail to Braddock Spear, Senior Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator for Policy, 1444 'Eye' Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005; by fax to 202-289-6051 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: horseshoe crab. Copies of the draft Addendum V can be obtained by contacting the Commission at 202-289-6400 or via the Commission's website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News.
For more information, please contact Braddock Spear at 202-289-6400.