0

Future of conch trade in doubt

By PAUL G TURNQUEST

Chief Reporter

pturnquest@tribunemedia.net

CONCERNS have been raised over the Bahamas’ exportation of conch into the United States after a petition for the marine resource to be registered as a “endangered species” was submitted to the US Secretary of Commerce by a non-profit environmental organisation.

Marine Resources Director Michael Braynen admitted to The Tribune yesterday that the future of conch being traded internationally is “not bright at all.”

“This is only one of many efforts that have been made, with the future without doubt being that the end of the

international trade of conch is on the horizon,” he said.

In the petition, submitted by Wild Earth Guardians, the queen conch is being threatened mainly by water pollution and the degradation of seagrass beds, overutilization for commercial purposes, and the lack of regulatory mechanisms to manage the unsustainable harvest or widespread practice of illegal fishing.

With the Bahamas exporting almost 600,000 pounds of conch meat to the United States last year at a value of over $3.3 million, the Department of Marine Resources’ director said that this impending reality will undoubtedly hurt many local fishermen.

“I think that one of the reasons we have a conch export industry now is that seafood dealers say that the amount of conch produced by Bahamian fishermen exceeds the demand for conch on the local market. So if the exports were no longer possible, it would seem to me that the catch by fishermen of conch would either decrease, or they would have to do something to ensure that the local market consumes the conch that they are landing. But at the present time they say that the landings exceed the local demand.

“In the Bahamas, conch has long been an important source of food. We will still be able to use our resource of conch for ourselves if they are able to be maintained. But when that (ban) happens, you are stuck. There is nothing you can do. This will certainly hurt some people. But maybe we can use conch as a selling point, where people would have to come to the Bahamas to get some.”

Representing an area that has a large population that relies heavily on the fishing industry, Long Island MP and FNM deputy leader Loretta Butler-Turner said that this news concerns her and her constituents greatly.

“This will greatly impact the income of persons who now rely on fishing. I think that it would be imperative for our government to make representation to the United States that we have implemented regulation and conservation measures, such as our marine parks for this sole purpose. The only real resource we have is our seafood, our marine resources. What is going to happen on these family islands when this comes into place? What happens to other islands like Spanish Wells?” she asked.

According to the petition by Wild Earth Guardians, the conch species has been in decline throughout its range and continues to face overwhelming threats from overfishing and illegal harvest, as well as water pollution and degradation of shallow-water nursery grounds.

The queen conch is especially vulnerable to overfishing and recovery of the species will be significantly hampered by the already low adult densities in many areas, the report reads.

“Current regulatory regimes, both national and international, have been proven inadequate by the continuing unsustainable harvest and high levels of illegal fishing in direct contravention of legal agreements. Listing the queen conch under the endangered species act (ESA) would provide essential protection for this species by eliminating the US import market, which currently drives a substantial majority of conch exports. In addition, ESA listing would allow for designation of critical habitat to protect vital nursery grounds and existing spawning stock,” it said.

In the Bahamas, our conch population stocks, according to the report, in shallow water areas was being overfished; with our deep water stocks approaching the status of overfishing. Our nearest neighbours to the south, the Turks and Caicos Islands were said to have a generally stable population, but however they showed signs of overfishing with reports of an “unknown level” of poaching. In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the report stated that their conch stocks were “seriously overfished”, and that their current harvest of mostly juvenile conch was “unsustainable.” Illegal harvesting and poaching was also noted in the Dominican Republic.

Comments

sherco 10 years, 2 months ago

Isn't it time some legislation with real teeth in it is passed to regulate the conch fishing industry? Come on, Mr. Christie, open your eyes to a very real and serious looming problem with our conch population and do something. ACT NOW PLEASE, before it is too late.

0

jt 10 years, 2 months ago

Conchs are in serious trouble. Ask anyone from an older generation. Research has proven that more recently discarded shells in Bahamian settlements have a developed lip (i.e. are legal) with less and less frequency. Fishermen choose to disregard the size limits and blame poachers. You need look no further than the roadside in Nassau to see that; yet even in plain sight nothing is done about it. Who is regulating the harvested conch that are sold frozen in blocks? Most are no bigger than my thumb. Please save this cultural icon before we end up like Florida.

0

Ahsanali 9 years ago

Working with accounts is very easy. Once a customer has HotSpot login page into the browser, he-she will need to enter valid Username and Password. After successful hotspot login, customer session will be limited by the account properties used for the creation of the account. http://www.antamediahotspot.com/insta...">Instant HotSpot – FULL revenue

0

alishajohn1 9 years, 5 months ago

You’ll see a lot of great clothes in today’s publish — particularly coats — as well as you’ll additionally see Chip Wooster, a guy some consider to become legendary within the fashion business. http://www.pursesandhandbagsguide.com">pursesandhandbagsguide

0

alishajohn1 9 years, 5 months ago

Attending a marriage doesn't have to mean investing in a boring toaster to provide the couple like a wedding present. Get from your wedding present rut by getting a fun, unique gift for that newlyweds. Think past basic home gifts to think about their cooking interests, artwork preferences as well as leisure actions. http://www.bestonlineweddinggifts.com">bestonlineweddinggifts

0

alishajohn1 9 years, 5 months ago

It's still possible to savor crisp toast foods as well as delicious cooked goods when utilizing oil through sunflowers. Finding a great sunflower essential oil supplier could be life changing for the whole family. http://www.cookingideas.eu">cooking ideas

0

alishajohn1 9 years, 5 months ago

The actual care associated with and official training of a kid by additional individuals besides family people or within settings located beyond their home is called early years as a child education. http://www.earlyyearseducation.eu">early years education

0

alishajohn1 9 years, 5 months ago

Mr Nickols stated: “We started purchasing the stock within 2007 once the shares had been under £3 and also have added to the position with time as the organization delivered powerful profits development and the caliber of earnings offers, in the view, enhanced. Currently, the actual shares tend to be trading close to £17. http://www.401kloansguide.com">401 kloans guide

0

Ahsanali 9 years ago

Working with accounts is very easy. Once a customer has HotSpot login page into the browser, he-she will need to enter valid Username and Password. After successful hotspot login, customer session will be limited by the account properties used for the creation of the account.
http://www.antamediahotspot.com/insta...">Instant HotSpot – FULL revenue

0

yilky 7 years, 9 months ago

I trust heaps of individuals visit this site so they can without much of a stretch realize this useful post. http://www.amazon.com/Moringa-Tea-100...">Amazon.com

0

yilky 7 years, 9 months ago

This is a pleasant online journal. You can assume extraordinary acknowledgment for distributed about this. https://www.academia.edu/10332955/Pla...">Karter

0

yilky 7 years, 8 months ago

Much obliged to you for offering so incredible thing to us. Praise for the colossal post. http://menjual-crystalx-asli.blogspot...">crystal X

0

jdoe39983 7 years, 8 months ago

Saving our Mother Nature is our job. Preserving what we have today is for our future. We have the power to do numerous ways to prevent our precious animals to go extinct. We need each other to balance Mother Nature for the present and future generations. http://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-EazyMe...">screen door

0

lindsaydolch 7 years, 8 months ago

Protecting Mother Nature is our job and it keeps the balance between nature and humans. We must be able to receive and give in order to save what is left of Mother Nature. We must take action, we must be aware of our surroundings. This is the importance of environmental organizations ready to give their services to Mother Nature and we must be part of it. http://www.amazon.com/Compression-Bes...">calf compression sleeve

0

huanlee28 7 years, 8 months ago

It is our job to save Mother Nature, but we are not doing it right. Preserving our nature is our key to progress, so we have to act before its too late. When we abuse our environment, it comes aback to us like karma, so we must treat it good to avoid its damaging power. Save Mother Nature, save Earth. http://ttp://www.fcbcsendai.org">FCBC Sendai

0

jennsim 7 years, 7 months ago

Although Nature is not talking or pleading to us, we should be sensitive about taking care of our environment. This has been our source of food since the beginning of human race, and it seems we are abusing it. Our supply is running low and we should be aware of it. Save Mother Nature, save the future generation. http://www.active-domain.com">active domain

0

danayocham 7 years, 6 months ago

We must love Mother Nature as much as it loves us. We should be able to give more than to receive. We should act now before it is too late. Save Mother Nature before what we did consumes us. http://allaboutnewlaunch.com">http://allaboutnewlaunch.com

0

Sign in to comment