Balancing the needs of aquatic species with the financial concerns of fishermen in New Jersey, the State recently suspended the harvesting of horseshoe crabs and provided $168,000 in aid to local fishing businesses. The move alleviates the environmental pressures being placed on crab and should provide more time for the species to reproduce while also enhancing the overall ecosystem by providing food for migratory shorebirds who feed on horseshoe crab eggs. Fisherman weren't completely happy with the outcome however, countering that the species was healthy and could sustain continued commercial harvesting states this recent article by the Asbury Park Press. JB
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 03/31/06
BY KIRK MOORE
TOMS RIVER BUREAU
GALLOWAY - New Jersey's last 34 licensed horseshoe crab harvesters could get $168,000 in financial aid over two years while the state enforces a moratorium on taking the crabs for commercial fishing bait, state environmental Commissioner Lisa Jackson and environmental activists said Thursday.
Faced with the Corzine administration's apparent determination to shut down the horseshoe crab business for two years Â to maximize the crab eggs available to feed migrating shorebirds Â the state Marine Fisheries Council last night voted to go along.
To oppose the Department of Environmental Protection could have led to legislative action to shut down crab harvests, said council Chairman Gilbert Ewing Jr., who voted with the majority against a move to reject the moratorium.