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Horseshoe Crab Fishing Ban May Bring Red Knot Birds Back To Connecticut

Gregory Breese
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Red knots feed around a horseshoe crab in Delaware.

The population of horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound continues to decline. But bird conservationists want to help reverse the trend. 

A threatened bird species called the red knot flocks to Connecticut and Long Island in the late spring to eat eggs laid by horseshoe crabs. 

But that crab population started to decline 15 years ago, and it has yet to rebound. The Connecticut Audubon Society says the dwindling crab numbers now affect the migratory birds that eat them. Now, Audubon wants the state to step in and ban fishing horseshoe crabs. 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says it’s considering changing its regulations. It has a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in Old Lyme to discuss. 

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.