Assessment and Mmanagement of North American horseshoe crab populations, with emphasis on a multispecies framework for Delaware Bay, U.S.A. populations: Chapter 24

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Abstract

The horseshoe crab fishery on the US Atlantic coast represents a compelling fishery management story for many reasons, including ecological complexity, health and human safety ramifications, and socio-economic conflicts. Knowledge of stock status and assessment and monitoring capabilities for the species have increased greatly in the last 15 years and permitted managers to make more informed harvest recommendations. Incorporating the bioenergetics needs of migratory shorebirds, which feed on horseshoe crab eggs, into the management framework for horseshoe crabs was identified as a goal, particularly in the Delaware Bay region where the birds and horseshoe crabs exhibit an important ecological interaction. In response, significant effort was invested in studying the population dynamics, migration ecology, and the ecologic relationship of a key migratory shorebird, the Red Knot, to horseshoe crabs. A suite of models was developed that linked Red Knot populations to horseshoe crab populations through a mass gain function where female spawning crab abundance determined what proportion of the migrating Red Knot population reached a critical body mass threshold. These models were incorporated in an adaptive management framework wherein optimal harvest decisions for horseshoe crab are recommended based on several resource-based and value-based variables and thresholds. The current adaptive framework represents a true multispecies management effort where additional data over time are employed to improve the predictive models and reduce parametric uncertainty. The possibility of increasing phenologic asynchrony between the two taxa in response to climate change presents a potential challenge to their ecologic interaction in Delaware Bay.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Assessment and Mmanagement of North American horseshoe crab populations, with emphasis on a multispecies framework for Delaware Bay, U.S.A. populations: Chapter 24
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-19542-1_24
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Cham
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Changing Global Perspectives on Horseshoe Crab Biology, Conservation and Management
First page 407
Last page 431
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N