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Protecting the Horseshoe Crab

© WWF-Hong Kong

Horseshoe crabs have been around for millions of years. These prehistoric species serve an important role in our coastal ecology: apart from being a major food source for shorebirds, they contribute to our understanding of evolutionary science and biomedical studies.

Of the four species of horseshoe crab worldwide, two types -- the Chinese horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus) and the mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpis rotundicauda) -- are found in the coastal waters of Hong Kong.
But their numbers are dwindling, with the local population estimated to number 4,500 to 7,300 individuals. In March 2019, the Chinese horseshoe crab was declared ‘endangered’ under the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

HSC Counts Project

WWF has launched the “HSC Counts”  Adult Horseshoe Crab Conservation and Education Project to formulate strategies for horseshoe crab conservation, by studying human threats posed on the adult horseshoe crab and by educating the community to avoid consuming horseshoe crabs. We are conducting market surveys, interviews with fishermen and the public, and will launch a restaurant campaign as part of our efforts to protect the species.
Currently, there is no local legislation specifically protecting the species, highlighting the importance of raising public awareness in order to reduce demand. Do your part by sharing this message with your online network.
Along with individual efforts, we aim to build momentum through our restaurant campaign to stop their harvest and sale. If you spot horseshoe crabs on display or for sale, please alert us at oceans@wwf.org.hk.

Horseshoe crabs belong to the ocean, not on dinner tables!

© WWF-Hong Kong

Stop Horseshoe Crab Consumption

Seafood restaurants have a major role to play in supporting ocean conservation, including by pledging not to sell or display horseshoe crabs in your restaurant or seafood stall. Be part of our “Horseshoe Crab Friendly Restaurant Campaign” Your participation not only helps nature, it also builds a positive brand image and reputation for your business!
Click here to find out more about the campaign and to see F&B businesses on the campaign alliance list.
Interested parties can contact us via email