Unfortunately, human activities have interfered with this spectacle. Horseshoe crabs were extensively slaughtered for cheap fertilizer and livestock feed in the latter part of the 19th century until the 1950s. More recently, the crabs have been captured for bait, mostly for channeled whelk pots and also for catfish and eels. In 2019, 832,755 crabs were taken coastwide for bait, up 31% from 2018. Maryland took 145,907 and Delaware 164,225. The population of this species has not come close to recovering to levels seen 50 years ago.