903R94021
CBP/TRS 122/94
 December 1994
            Chesapeake Bay
           and Atlantic Coast
            Horseshoe Crab
      Fishery Management Plan
TD
225
.C54
H673
                              U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                              Fujon III !r formation Resource
                              Center (JPM52)
                              ?M Chestnut St-cet
                              Phcociobiiio, PA 19107
          Agreement Commitment Report 1994
          Chesapeake Bay Program
  Printed on
Recycled Paper

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Regional Center foi  Environmental Information
            US EPA Region III
               11,50 Arch St.
           Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast
             Horseshoe Crab
      Fishery Management Plan
          Agreement Commitment Report
                                   U S. Eiwisoamental Protection Agency
                                   Region HI Information Resource
                                   Certsr (3PM52)
                                   841 Chestnut Street
                                   Philadelphia, PA 19107
                  October 1994
             Edited By Nancy H. Butowski
 Printed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay Program

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                             Adoption Statement
       We, the undersigned, adopt the 1994 Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Horseshoe
Crab Fishery Management Plan, as a continuing effort to fulfill the Living Resources
Commitment of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

       We agree to accept the Horseshoe Crab Plan as a guide to protecting the resource in the
Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast, insuring its continued role in the ecology of coastal
ecosystems, and providing for its commercial, recreational and medical usage over time  We
further agree to work together to implement, by the dates set forth in the Plan, the management
actions recommended to address its ecological value, stock status, the fishery, and habitat
considerations.

       We recognize the need for long-term, stable financial support and human resources for the
task of enhancing the horseshoe crab resource. In addition, we direct the Living Resources
Subcommittee to review and update the Horseshoe Crab Plan  yearly and to prepare an annual
report addressing the progress made in achieving the Plan's management recommendations
Signatures
For the Commonwealth of Virginia
For the State of Maryland
For the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
For the United Slates of America
For the District of Columbia
For the Chesapeake Bay Commission

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                        TABLE OF CONTENTS



LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES	   i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 	  ii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY	'	iii

THE FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN PROCESS 	  iv

SECTION 1. BIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 	   1
     Biological Profile	   4
     The Fishery	   5
     Habitat Issues 	  11
     Stock Status	  12
     Current Laws and Regulations	  12
     References	  14

SECTION 2. HORSESHOE CRAB MANAGEMENT  	  16
     Goal and Objectives	  16
     Ecological Value 	  16
     Stock Status	  18
     The Fishery	  18
     The Habitat	  19
     Implementation Matrix  	  21
                         LIST OF FIGURES
1. Horseshoe crab landings from the NE Atlantic region,
   1962-1992 	   7
2. Dockside value of horseshoe crabs from the NE region,
   1962-1992 	   8
3. Maryland commercial horseshoe crab landings and dockside
   value 	   9
4. Virginia commercial horseshoe crab landings and dockside
   value 	  10

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                         ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

     The Chesapeake Bay  and Atlantic Coast Horseshoe Crab  Fishery
Management Plan was developed under the direction of the Fisheries
Management Plan  Workgroup.  Staff from the Maryland Department of
Natural  Resources  (MDNR),   Tidewater  Administration,  Fisheries
Division  were responsible  for writing  the plan  and addressing
comments on the draft versions. Support was  provided by staff from
the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).  Thanks are due to
members of the Living Resources Subcommittee, the Virginia  Finfish
Subcommittee, and to the public who reviewed and commented on the
plan.


Members of the Fisheries Management Workgroup were:

Mr. K.A. Carpenter, Potomac River Fisheries Commission
Mr. James O. Drummond, Maryland citizen representative