Conch, Queen – Puerto Rico, Bahamas & Turks and Caicos
Queen Conch is a large marine gastropod found throughout the Caribbean. Many features of the Queen Conch’s life history are still unresolved, but it is thought to mature around 3-5 years and live between 20-30 years. Since Queen Conch form large aggregations in shallow coastal waters, where it can easily be seen and collected by hand by divers, it is particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure.
As a result of intense fishing for Queen Conch over the last few decades, populations throughout the Caribbean have experienced substantial declines. In Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos, Queen Conch populations are depleted and are being fished at unsustainable levels.
In Puerto Rico, the fishery targets Spiny Lobsters in addition to Queen Conch. Spiny Lobsters are also fished at unsustainable levels in Puerto Rico. In the Turks and Caicos, the fishery intentionally targets endangered sea turtles. Management of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos fisheries is considered ineffective, while management of the Puerto Rico fishery is assessed as moderately effective.