Monitoring and managing queen conch fisheries

FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 514

Monitoring and managing queen conch fisheries

A manual

Paul Medley
Alne, North Yorkshire
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Rome, 2008

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ISBN 978-92-5-106031-5

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© FAO 2008

Medley, P.
Monitoring and managing queen conch fisheries: a manual.
FAO Document technique sur les pêches. No. 514. Rome, FAO. 2008. 78p.


This publication presents guidelines on the requirements for responsible management of the fisheries exploiting Caribbean queen conch (Strombus gigas), with particular emphasis on the requirements to comply with the relevant regulations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Caribbean queen conch is listed on Appendix II of the CITES, which requires that any specimen of the species can only be exported if a permit has been issued to allow the export. Further, CITES states that export permits should only be issued when the responsible authority has deemed that the export will not be detrimental to the survival of that species. This manual describes the basic fisheries management cycle which includes: development and interpretation of policy; the need for management controls to regulate fishing activities; data collection and analysis; decision-making; enforcement of and compliance with the management controls; and regular feedback and review of the management system. It provides general guidance on each of those steps for the queen conch fisheries of the Caribbean. It also provides three examples of management systems for industrial, artisanal and non-directed fisheries. Part 1 covers the main issues and examples in a relatively non-technical manner and Part 2 explains similar issues in a more technical manner.


Preparation of this document (Download 678 kb)


Part 1 – GENERAL GUIDELINES (Download 134 kb)

1.  CITES and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
1.1 The Convention
1.2 National CITES Authorities
2.  Fishery biology

3.  The fisheries management cycle

3.1 Policy
3.2 Controls
3.3 Data collection
3.4 Data analysis
3.5 Decision-making
3.6 Enforcement and compliance
3.7 Feedback and review
4.  Example of management systems

4.1 Checklist
4.2 Industrial fishery
4.3 Artisanal fishery
4.4 Artisanal/subsistence fishery
4.5 Non-directed fishery
Part 2 – TECHNICAL GUIDELINES (Download 525 kb)


5.  General approach
5.1 Developing management objectives
5.2 Stock identification and management units
5.3 From policy to data collection
5.4 Management logic and means of verification
5.5 Standard indicators and reference points
5.6 Empirical or non-parametric indicators
5.7 Probabilistic indicators
6.  Queen conch biology

6.1 Reproduction and recruitment
6.2 Adult movement
6.3 Growth
6.4 Natural mortality
6.5 Conclusion
7.  Data collection

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Catch and effort
7.3 Catch size frequency sampling
7.4 Fishery independent surveys
7.5 Tagging
7.6 Interviews
7.7 Other Information
8.  Assessments linking data to indicators

8.1 Introduction
8.2 Biomass dynamics assessment
8.3 Per-recruit assessment
8.4 Other assessments
9.  Controls and monitoring

9.1 Introduction
9.2 Fleet capacity and effort
9.3 Catch quotas
9.4 Minimum size and maturity
9.5 Closed areas and marine protected areas
9.6 Closed season
9.7 Taxation
9.8 Compliance to fishery management measures
10.  Management cycleAdaptive management
10.2 Verification and transparency
10.3 Co-management and participation
11.  Potential regional management regime

Part 3 (Download 290 kb)

References and further reading

Appendix – Fishery checklist