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Audubon society seeks to ban horseshoe crab fishing in CT

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    HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — The Connecticut Audubon Society wants to ban horseshoe crab fishing in the state.

The bird group said that the harvesting of the crabs is not only causing a decline in their own population, but it’s impacting the migratory birds that rely on their eggs for food.

Experts said Long Island Sound’s horseshoe crab population has been declining over a 15 year period.

Connecticut Audubon Society director Patrick Comins recently provided testimony about this to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“We strongly feel that because of the poor stock levels of horseshoe crabs in our region, the only remaining course of action is to invoke a moratorium on the harvest of horseshoe crabs in Connecticut,” Comins said.

The society said that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission found last year that the region’s horseshoe crab population was in poor condition.

DEEP said it is now considering changing the state’s regulations.

A meeting is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at DEEP’s marine headquarters in Old Lyme.

According to the society, the bird species most impacted by the decline in horseshoe crabs is the Red Knot.

Red Knots, which accompany horseshoe crabs in the late spring early summer to eat the crabs’ protein-rich eggs, are listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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