Faced with calls to end the commercial harvest of horseshoe crabs along the Connecticut shoreline, state regulators said Tuesday they are planning new restrictions aimed at bolstering populations of the ancient species.

The announcement follows growing alarm from environmental groups who say that populations of horseshoe crabs are declining in Long Island Sound, potentially harming species of birds and other animals that rely on the crab’s eggs for food. Fishermen, however, have objected to new regulations.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said in a 2019 report that stocks of horseshoe crabs were on the decline in the New York region, which includes Connecticut. Overall, the health of crab populations in the region was described as “poor.”

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