Quota set for 2018-19 Commercial Horseshoe Crab Fisheries

The secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, pursuant to the Code of Maryland Regulations 08.02.10.01G(4), establishes the quota, season and catch limits for the 2018-2019 commercial horseshoe crab fishery. This notice is effective at 12:01 a.m. May 1, 2018.

Quota

The annual total allowable landings of male horseshoe crabs for the commercial fishery is 255,980. There is no female harvest permitted.

Season

May 1 through July 8, 2018:

(1) A person may catch or land horseshoe crabs outside of 1 mile of the Atlantic coast.
(2) A person may catch or land horseshoe crabs in Maryland’s coastal bays and their tidal tributaries.
(3) A person may not catch or land horseshoe crabs within 1 mile of the Atlantic Coast, or the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

July 9 through November 30, 2018:

A person may catch or land horseshoe crabs from the tidal waters of the state.

December 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019:

A person may not catch or land horseshoe crabs in Maryland.

Catch Limits

An individual may not land more than 25 male horseshoe crabs unless they are in possession of a valid horseshoe crab landing permit.

May 1 through July 8, 2018:

A permittee may not land more than 150 male horseshoe crabs per day.

July 9 through November 30, 2018:

A permittee may not land more male horseshoe crabs than the amount specified on their permit.

All other rules remain the same (Code of Maryland Regulations 08.02.10.01).

Mark J. Belton
Secretary of Natural Resources