Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Management Board has approved Addendum VII to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan. The Addendum implements the Adaptive Resource Management (ARM) Framework, which incorporates both shorebird and horseshoe crab abundance levels to set optimized horseshoe crab harvest levels for the Delaware Bay area.  The ARM Framework was developed by the Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey in recognition of the relationship between horseshoe crab eggs and shorebirds in the Delaware Bay Region.  The ARM Framework was peer-reviewed in 2009 and accepted by the Board in 2010.

The Addendum allocates the ARM harvest output among the four states (New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland) that harvest horseshoe crabs from the Delaware Bay population.  The allocation is based upon multiple decision options, including the proportion of horseshoe crabs harvested that originate from Delaware Bay and allowance for additional male harvest by Virginia and Maryland to compensate for protecting female horseshoe crabs when the ARM harvest output includes a moratorium on female crabs.  This provision will help meet bait demands and mitigate the economic impact of a moratorium on female horseshoe crabs.

The Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee, along with the Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Advisory Panels and the Law Enforcement Committee, played an important role in developing Addendum VII.

As part of implementation, the most recent estimates of horseshoe crab and red knot abundance will be used in the ARM Framework to estimate the optimized harvest level for Delaware Bay crabs.  The allocation prescribed within Addendum VII will determine how the ARM optimized harvest output will be divided among the four Delaware Bay states. Addendum VII will be implemented for the 2013 fishing season.  It will be available on the Commission’s website ( under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703.842.0740.  For more information, please contact Danielle Chesky, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.