In an effort to restore the devastated population of horseshoe crabs, the U.S. announced plans yesterday to create a 1,800-square-mile sanctuary stretching from Delaware Bay into the Atlantic where catching the crabs will be prohibited. U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta also threatened to shut down Virginia’s horseshoe crab fishing industry unless the state reduces its catch levels significantly. “Virginia has been strip mining horseshoe crabs,” said Daniel Beard of the National Audubon Society. Horseshoe crab numbers have declined by as much as 90 percent over the past decade. Falling crab numbers also threaten 1 million migratory shorebirds that depend on crab eggs as a food source.