Queen Conch project
IMPROVEMENT OF STATUS AND TRENDS OF QUEEN CONCH CAPTURE
The Queen Conch Strombus gigas, an edible marine gastropod, is an important fishery resource in the Caribbean and Central America. The fishery has a long tradition in the region and the species has been valued, especially for its meat, for several centuries. The shells of this species are also used as curios and in jewellery, but are generally of secondary economic importance.
Data collection systems have been established in most countries to provide information production of Queen Conch. However, data provided by the systems are difficult to use for comparison and for the development of fisheries management plans as there is no standardised data collection and reporting.The participants of the FAO FishCode-STF OSPESCA Regional Workshop on Improvement of Fisheries Data and Information Collection Systems (San Salvador, El Salvador 23–26 January 2005) recognized this and recommended to improve the situation.
Moreover, as different levels of processing of the Queen Conch meat may be undertaken at sea or on board of the vessels, the recorded weights of landings may include Queen Conch meat that has been processed to different grades. This makes it difficult to calculate the actual catch volume. Due to the relatively high tissue loss of up to 50% or more during processing, it is important to determine conversion factors and apply them to assess the equivalent of animals that is harvested to obtain a certain volume of processed Queen Conch reported in the statistics.
The FAO FishCode-STF Project will carry out a small project to improve information on Queen Conch fisheries.
Time frame: July 2006-January 2007