Limulus in the Limelight—Horseshoe Crab Culture & Environmental Concerns
Program Presenter: John T. Tanacredi, Ph.D., Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM), Molloy College
Dr. Tanacredi will discuss his published scientific work on the ecology of the Horseshoe Crab, Limulus, with emphasis on human impacts on horseshoe crabs and their habitat on Long Island.
World-wide there are 4 species of Horseshoe Crab, all of which are used for bait in commercial fisheries and for blood extraction products in the growing business of LAL (Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate), a testing agent used to check for bacterial contamination during the production of human medicines. In the wild, horseshoe crab eggs are a source of protein for millions of migrating shorebirds.
In 2012, prompted by considerable interest in the international sale of horseshoe crabs to the USA for bait, an international committee investigation revealed that in Indonesia over 10,000 adult crabs per day were being harvested to collect blood for LAL production and then sacrificed for an exotic food demand. This International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Specialist Group for study of Horseshoe Crabs established as its goal the inclusion of all 4 species on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. In 2016, this Specialist Study Group’s representatives, one of which was Dr. Tanacredi, prepared an e-poster and contributed a webpage on Horseshoe Crabs to the published proceedings of the IUCN World congress held in Hawaii. The Red List Report for Limulus was accepted for detailed review by the IUCN.
Dr. Tanacredi’s talk outlines this global conservation effort and the actions necessary to protect Horseshoe Crabs within their range world-wide and on Long Island.
Please call 631-537-9735 for reservations and info about meeting place.