Conch Survey to determine Stock for Upcoming Season Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Queen conchThe conch season was closed early this year on April 24th and will re-open on September 30th. Usually, the season closed on June 30th but the season was closed early and the closed season was extended because the Queen Conch (strombus gigas) is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It was also determined that the Cooperatives had filled their quota and in an effort to protect the endangered specie, the season was shortened and the closed season made longer.

Now as the season comes closer to opening, the Fisheries Department is conducting their bi-annual national conch survey within various marine reserves across the country. The survey is a means by which the Government takes stock of the Queen Conch's numbers in Belizean waters. At the end of the survey, the information is submitted to CITES to prove whether or not there is a healthy population of the sea creature to justify its further exploitation.

During the survey, conchs are counted with 200 meter transect lines which are two meters wide inside and outside the barrier reef. In the exercise, the length of each conch encountered is taken. Also recorded is the thickest part of the conch's flair lip.

The survey is done every two years from the northernmost coastal tip to the southernmost end of the country.  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 23:54