According to the National Wildlife Federation, horseshoe crabs have been on this planet for more than 300 million years, making them even older than dinosaurs. Today, threats to horseshoe crabs include habitat loss and over-harvesting, especially in areas of high seafood consumption like Asia.
To combat the negative impacts to the species, Aberdeen Marina Club was one of 30 organizations that committed to the Horseshoe Crab Rearing Program in September 2017. In partnership with the City University of Hong Kong and Ocean Park Conservation Fund Hong Kong, the program aims to rear the young crabs into adulthood and train them to increase their rate of survival once released into the wild. Through the program, Aberdeen Marina Club received eight baby horseshoe crabs to foster for six months. Thirty-six Club staff members were tasked as foster parents to take care of the crabs by feeding them once per day, cleaning and maintaining their living environment, and measuring their health status.
In 2018, the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong announced that Aberdeen Marina Club obtained the highest horseshoe crab survival rate out of all 30 organizations participating in the Horseshoe Crab Rearing Program. With this distinction, Aberdeen Marina Club enrolled in the program for its second year.
Aberdeen Marina Club has extended its conservation efforts to educate and involve colleagues, guests and members of the community. In May, 50 colleagues participated in an informational scavenger hunt called Horseshoe Crabs Hunt Game to learn more about the species. At the end of the activity, all 50 colleagues received a stainless steel drinking straw for participating.
“This was a meaningful game for us to learn more about Horseshoe Crabs,” said Winnie Kwok, service manager – hygienist and secretary, and Cynthia Chan, kitchen coordinator. “We will be horseshoe crabs parents soon, so this was important for us to learn about our new babies!”
To celebrate World Oceans Day on May 31, Club colleagues participated in a horseshoe crab and conservation talk, called What’s Up. Led by a speaker from Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong, the talk welcomed visitors and members of the community to learn about horseshoe crabs.
On June 15, a research assistant from the City University of Hong Kong held a Horseshoe Crab Parent Conference for 25 colleagues who intend to be foster parents during the program. During the demonstration, colleagues learned how to rear horseshoe crab babies through feeding, cleaning and nurturing. The horseshoe crabs will be released into the wild in December 2018, pending full maturity.
“We look forward to seeing our horseshoe crabs grow up and return to their homes,” said Josephine Cheung, service associate – human resources.
Congratulations to the team at Aberdeen Marina Club on the continued efforts to help horseshoe crabs.