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New York is planning to limit the harvest of crabs

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A law signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week gives the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation until 2024 to come up with a new set of rules for the commercial harvest of all types of crabs. They can impose new size, catch and possession limits and restrict seasonal harvests.

The bill was introduced by state Assemblymember Steve Engelbright, D-Setauket and state Senator Todd Kaminsky, D-Long Beach, who both chair the state environmental committee, after a 2019 study found the state’s horseshoe crab population was in poor condition.

The current limit on horseshoe crabs, as well as other crab species, is 150 per day off certain beaches, with restrictions around mating seasons.

Harvesting off Fire Island beaches is already prohibited.

Many Long Island fishermen say there are already enough restrictions on crabbing.

Horseshoe crabs were also used by drug companies making blood-clotting drugs, especially for COVID-19 treatments.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.