Why Horseshoe Crabs are Disappearing?

horseshoe crabOne of the oldest, most successful arthropods on Earth, horseshoe crabs have existed on this earth for over 350 million years. In the recent years, the population of horseshoe crabs has decreased dramatically. They are used as a bait in fishing industry. Also, the Pharmaceutical companies harvest their unusual blue blood.

This blood contains limulus amebocy which can act as a substance to detect toxins. The blue blood of horseshoe crabs is used by the biomedical and pharma medical industry to test for toxins in things such as implants, vaccines, and medical implements. This blood is also being used to test Coronavirus vaccine.

Most of these crabs are returned to the sea once the blood necessary for the medical sector has been extracted. However, 50,000 of them die in this process (Source: Atlantic.com).

Due to their depleting numbers, Environmental conservationists want Pharma companies to use a synthetic alternative instead of relying on blue blood of horseshoe crabs.

Watch Horseshoe Crabs and their Depleting Numbers (by Hakai Magazine)

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