Did you know that dwindling numbers of horseshoe crabs along Connecticut and New York shorelines have led to their functional extinction in Long Island Sound? That means they have become too rare to fulfill their crucial, interconnected role in the ecosystem.

However, you can help save Connecticut’s beloved ancient mariners and the wildlife who depend on them for survival by testifying in writing or via Zoom in support of HB 5140 during an Environment Committee public hearing at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25.

Please ask members of the committee to vote for HB 5140, a bill Friends of Animals drafted and they raised, which would ban the hand capture and killing of horseshoe crabs in Connecticut.

Connecticut issues about 15 permits a year to fishers to kill horseshoe crabs so they can be used as bait to kill eel and whelk for consumption. Connecticut’s quota for its annual haul is an appalling 48,689.

The low numbers of horseshoe crabs are leading to a steep decline and possible extinction of other species.  The best-known example is the red knot, a threatened shore bird that depends on horseshoe crab eggs for food to fuel its epic biannual flights between the southern tip of South America and the Arctic.

Sea turtles also rely on the horseshoe crab itself for food. Other species such as anemones, barnacles, oysters, and seaweed use horseshoe crab shells as homes.

Please help us stop senseless killing of horseshoe crabs, just like New Jersey did in 2008.
To submit testimony, email a PDF or Word document to: envtestimony@cga.ct.gov
To sign up to speak at Friday’s public hearing, register by 3 p.m. on Thursday, please click here.
To watch the public hearing on YouTube, click here.