A day for horseshoe crabs in international calendar

Global conference deliberates on the endangered species and the next course of action for its conservation

Balasore: Expressing concern over the protection of endangered marine species like horseshoe crabs, a global conference has decided to mark June 20 of every year as International Day for Horseshoe Crab.

The international meet, held in China from June 15 to 20, was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCAN).

Six experts from Balasore attended the conference. On return, they said that people living in coastal areas in Balasore and other districts will be sensitized about protection of this red-listed species. Experts at the meet had proposed to include a chapter on horseshoe crabs in textbooks.

Prof Bishnu Prasad Das (Head of Biotechnology at FM University) had put forth a thesis on the marine creature while Gobinda Chandra Biswal (Director of Association for Biodiversity Conservation and Research) and Siddharth Pati (Asst Prof, Amity College, Bhubaneswar) drew applause for their display of poster on the crabs. Artist Kesu Das (chief of NOCI Cultural Academy) put up a sand animation on the crabs and drew attention of the researchers.

Anthropology lecturers at FM University Sasmita Das, Dr Basudev Tripathy, Sheikh Sajan and Bhubaneswari Bal were among those who attended the meet.

Over 140 organisations, experts, researchers, artists, teachers and students associated with work and research on the horseshoe crab from 20 countries including the USA, China, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Denmark and Malaysia deliberated on the endangered species and the next course of action for its protection and conservation.

Of four species of horseshoe crabs found in Asia and the USA, two are in India. River mouth areas and some coastal areas of Balasore are the only places in the country where horseshoe crabs come to lay eggs during tides. Many have been carrying out research on the marine species for the last four decades at Chandipur and Balaramgadi.