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  • NJ A4324
  • Designates horseshoe crab as State Arthropod.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/VetoedVeto Overridden
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill designates the horseshoe crab as the official State Arthropod of New Jersey. Horseshoe crabs have a hard shell, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, five pairs of jointed legs, and a long and rigid tail. Horseshoe crabs are often called "living fossils" because scientists have estimated that the fossils of their prehistoric ancestors date back millions of years. Horseshoe crabs are important for both public health and the ecosystem, especially migrating shorebirds. Biomedical companies catch horseshoe crabs for their blood, from which they produce Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), a substance used to detect contamination of injectable drugs and implantable devices and the presence of endotoxins such as E. coli and Salmonella. Migrating shorebirds, including the endangered red knot, rely heavily on the eggs spawned by breeding horseshoe crabs to supply energy required to complete their migration from the southern tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic. Over the past two decades or so, there has been a decline in the number of horseshoe crabs due to the loss of sandy beaches needed to lay eggs, overharvesting, and use of the horseshoe crabs as eel and conch bait. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has taken steps to protect these arthropods, such as issuing a harvest moratorium and conducting beach replenishment projects. In addition, there is a statutorily-imposed harvest moratorium. By designating the horseshoe crab as the State Arthropod, New Jersey would be recognizing the important role that this species plays with respect to public health and in the ecosystem.
Environment and Solid Waste
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee  (on 11/14/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
11/14/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified