As of midnight, December 1, 2012, the horseshoe crab fishery will be closed, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. Until further notice, no horseshoe crab can be harvested.

As of November 28, 2012 the annual quota of 150,000 crabs for 2012 has been exceeded. Therefore, as no quota remains, the winter horseshoe crab fishery will not open.  Preliminary harvest estimate for 2012 is 170,897 horseshoe crabs.  The majority of these horseshoe crabs were harvested during the spring (169,964) and an additional 933 crabs were harvested in the fall.  Compliance monitoring is still in progress, therefore the harvest estimate will likely increase.

DEC will meet with horseshoe crab permit holders during the winter to determine horseshoe crab harvest quota management for 2013.  Revisions will be made to help ensure that the 2013 quota is not exceeded.

For additional information, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0444.

The most recent updates on New York’s fish and wildlife can be obtained by subscribing to Field Notes, a free online e-mail list provided by the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. To subscribe, visit DEC’s website at

Logo courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation

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