PDA Letter Article

Tri-Spine Crab Now on Endangered List

by James F. Cooper


What the Decline in T. tridentatus Means for our Industry

Longtime LAL researcher James Cooper offers his insights into the decline of an Asian species of horseshoe crab and the impact on the market for LAL.

Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added Tachypleus tridentatus, the tri-spine or Chinese horseshoe crab, to its list of endangered species (1). IUCN reports that abundance of T. tridentatus is falling sharply in the South China Sea and other Asian waters, where it ranges from southern Japan to Indonesia (1). This decline is primarily caused by habitat loss, overfishing for human consumption and production of tachypleus amebocyte lysate (TAL).