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Horseshoe crabs spend their winter near the continental shelf. In the spring, the migrate inshore looking for calm, sandy beaches to lay their eggs. Juveniles spend a few years close to shore and then join the adult stock.
Horseshoe crab eggs are a critical part of the food web on the Atlantic seashore. Sea birds rely on the eggs during their yearly migration. Horse shoe crabs are also commercially harvest as bait for the welk fishery as well as used in the biomedical industry.
Little is known about the horseshoe crab stock. We do know that population have increased in the South East region and decreased north of Delaware.
A new stock assessment is scheduled for October 2018.