DV-05-008 Assessing the Potential for Successful Culture of the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus, in Maine

Ruth H. Carmichael
University of Maine at Machias

9 O’Brien Ave.
Machias, ME 04655 207.255.1206
Email Ruth Carmichael

Maine is home to the northernmost population of the Atlantic horseshoe crab. Species at the edge of their range are often considered unique and potentially fragile. If Maine’s horseshoe crabs are at the fringe of their viable habitat, their status may become more important as overharvesting, global climate change, and habitat fragmentation affect horseshoe crab populations elsewhere.

This project will gather basic preliminary data needed to determine the feasibility for and interest in pursuing commercial horseshoe crab culture in Maine. The researchers will refine culture methods for juvenile horseshoe crabs; explore the possible economic, ecological, and educational implications of culture; and examine effects culture may have on local horseshoe crab populations. The results will provide needed information on the biology and ecology of Maine’s horseshoe crabs.

1-year project: $5,500