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'''By: Linda Freilich, Coastal Waterways Chair'''
 
'''By: Linda Freilich, Coastal Waterways Chair'''
   
Recently, I sat down with a clammer whose family has been clamming for over a hundred years. We discussed the importance of horseshoe crabs to her family income. She uses them as bait for killies, whelk(conch), and eels. They are the only viable bait. The crab is quartered and put in collection pots to lure its prey.There are only six weeks during the year in which this bait can be gathered, and then they swim out to the deeper waters. They return to the same place to breed. This clammer has collected from the same spot since childhood, she is now in her 60’s. Are there as many as there used to be? “No, but the numbers are good,” she told me. I was told by a member of The Nature Conservancy that the daily limit is 200 per licensed person. The average bayman requires 1500 per season. New Jersey and Delaware have made it illegal to take horseshoe crab, and Long Island is a place to get the bait. People come to take our crab. Should there be an out of state tax for fishermen using our shores? What is the solution? Suggestions are welcome. The blood of horseshoe crab is sensitive to bacteria. It is used to test surgical instruments and intravenous instruments for safety. What standards is the medical community held to and do the crab really live through the taking of blood? I have interviewed both a bayperson and a person who took blood to work his way through college. Their answers were conflicting as to whether the crab lives or dies. Another threat to the horseshoe crab is nature itself. The eggs are a
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Recently, I sat down with a clammer whose family has been clamming for over a hundred years. We discussed the importance of [[horseshoe crab]]s to her family income. She uses them as bait for killies, whelk(conch), and eels. They are the only viable bait. The crab is quartered and put in collection pots to lure its prey.There are only six weeks during the year in which this bait can be gathered, and then they swim out to the deeper waters. They return to the same place to breed. This clammer has collected from the same spot since childhood, she is now in her 60’s. Are there as many as there used to be? “''No, but the numbers are good'',” she told me. I was told by a member of The Nature Conservancy that the daily limit is 200 per licensed person. The average bayman requires 1,500 per season. New Jersey and Delaware have made it illegal to take horseshoe crab, and Long Island is a place to get the bait. People come to take our crab. Should there be an out of state tax for fishermen using our shores? What is the solution? Suggestions are welcome. The blood of horseshoe crab is sensitive to bacteria. It is used to test surgical instruments and intravenous instruments for safety. What standards is the medical community held to and do the crab really live through the taking of blood? I have interviewed both a bayperson and a person who took blood to work his way through college. Their answers were conflicting as to whether the crab lives or dies. Another threat to the horseshoe crab is nature itself. The eggs are a feast for the birds. An exciting program that an old student emailed me about is: [http://www.projectlitmus.org www.projectlitmus.org], which measures and counts horseshoe crabs during spring spawning season. School children go out and measure and count the crab in [[New York]] and [[Connecticut]].
feast for the birds. An exciting program that an old student emailed me about is: www.projectlitmus.org, which measures and counts horseshoe crabs during spring spawning season. School children go out and measure and count the crab in New York and Connecticut.
 
   
 
'''Contacts:''' Jennifer Mattei Ph.D. at matteij@sacredheart.edu,
 
'''Contacts:''' Jennifer Mattei Ph.D. at matteij@sacredheart.edu,
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Jennifer Mattei told me that this program goes from mid May to June.This is a topic worthy of exploration.
 
Jennifer Mattei told me that this program goes from mid May to June.This is a topic worthy of exploration.
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'''For more information visit:'''
 
'''For more information visit:'''
http://www.longislandsoundstudy.net/
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* http://www.longislandsoundstudy.net/
http://www.nature.org/magazine/summer2008/features/?gclid=CNKI7a6brJQCFQOaFQodoAIQuA
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* http://www.nature.org/magazine/summer2008/features/?gclid=CNKI7a6brJQCFQOaFQodoAIQuA
http://www.dowling.edu/school-arts-science/earthmarine/horseshoe.shtm
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* http://www.dowling.edu/school-arts-science/earthmarine/horseshoe.shtm
http://www.nps.gov/fiis/
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* http://www.nps.gov/fiis/
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{{Endangered species}}
 
[[Category:Long Island]]
 
[[Category:Long Island]]

Latest revision as of 01:19, January 30, 2013

By: Linda Freilich, Coastal Waterways Chair

Recently, I sat down with a clammer whose family has been clamming for over a hundred years. We discussed the importance of horseshoe crabs to her family income. She uses them as bait for killies, whelk(conch), and eels. They are the only viable bait. The crab is quartered and put in collection pots to lure its prey.There are only six weeks during the year in which this bait can be gathered, and then they swim out to the deeper waters. They return to the same place to breed. This clammer has collected from the same spot since childhood, she is now in her 60’s. Are there as many as there used to be? “No, but the numbers are good,” she told me. I was told by a member of The Nature Conservancy that the daily limit is 200 per licensed person. The average bayman requires 1,500 per season. New Jersey and Delaware have made it illegal to take horseshoe crab, and Long Island is a place to get the bait. People come to take our crab. Should there be an out of state tax for fishermen using our shores? What is the solution? Suggestions are welcome. The blood of horseshoe crab is sensitive to bacteria. It is used to test surgical instruments and intravenous instruments for safety. What standards is the medical community held to and do the crab really live through the taking of blood? I have interviewed both a bayperson and a person who took blood to work his way through college. Their answers were conflicting as to whether the crab lives or dies. Another threat to the horseshoe crab is nature itself. The eggs are a feast for the birds. An exciting program that an old student emailed me about is: www.projectlitmus.org, which measures and counts horseshoe crabs during spring spawning season. School children go out and measure and count the crab in New York and Connecticut.

Contacts: Jennifer Mattei Ph.D. at matteij@sacredheart.edu, or Mark Beekley Ph.D. at beekeym@sacredheart.edu.

Jennifer Mattei told me that this program goes from mid May to June.This is a topic worthy of exploration.

For more information visit:

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