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Conch Season Re-opens for Harvesting Oct. 1! #496193
09/29/14 12:20 PM
09/29/14 12:20 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,307
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

(Caribbean Queen Conch - known as strombusgigas)

Do you want to splurge?

On October 1st, you can enjoy your favourite conch ceviche, conch fritters, conch skewers, conch soup, grilled conch, conch chowder, conch cocktail, etc at your favourite restaurant.

To all residents, visitors and friends of Belize and abroad, do enjoy the opening of the 2014-2015 conch season!

Conch will be available for sale on Wednesday October 1st at the "Fisherman's Wharf" next to "Mother's Park" in-front of the Mirador Hotel in Corozal Town.

Corozal Daily

October 1st marked the official opening of the 2014/2015 regular season of the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas). Conch harvesting yields an estimated $11 million annually into the country’s fisheries industry, a significant revenue earner for traditional fishermen. The season runs from October 1st until June 30th of the following year. It is estimated that a total of over 1 million pounds will be harvested this year.

According to the Belize Fisheries Department, only persons with a commercial Fishermen’s License are allowed to catch conch for commercial purposes (sell). To protect the industry, the Fisheries Department is encouraging establishments that purchase conch for consumption from the local market, to request a legal commercial Fishermen’s License from the supplier. In addition, they are also encouraging fishermen to abide by the law as it relates to legal size of conch, to ensure the sustainability of the Strombus gigas species. The legal size of a conch allowed for harvesting is seven inches in length (from the tip of the Siphon – pointed part of the shell – to the longest point on the lip). For conch flesh that has been processed as market clean, the weight should exceed three ounces. Filleted flesh (completely processed white meat) should exceed 2.5 ounces.

The Fisheries Department says that penalties for the violation of the law as it pertains to illegal harvesting of conch or undersized conch varies. In any case, penalties should not exceed $500 or a summary conviction of six months imprisonment upon sentencing. If found guilty of an offence, the judge may choose to impose an individual charge per conch, which normally does not exceed $50 per conch.

According to the Fisheries Department, before an annual quota is set, an assessment of the conch abundance is conducted with the help of various marine reserves who carry out an annual conch survey in Belize’s waters. The assessment is an exportation requirement under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). While the assessment is still being put together, the Fisheries Department is expected to make a quota announcement in the first two weeks of the conch season.

Last year, a little over 1 million pounds of market clean conch and a little over 8,000 pounds of fillet conch were harvested. That yielded an estimated $11.06 million into the country’s revenue. It is estimated that at least 10% of total conch harvested is consumed locally (by law 5% must stay in Belize).

In Belize, conch is a common staple on most restaurant and home menus during the open season. The flesh is commonly prepared in ceviches, conch fritters, soups and even chowders.

Re: Conch Season Re-opens for Harvesting Oct. 1! [Re: Marty] #496256
09/30/14 01:30 PM
09/30/14 01:30 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,307
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

No matter where you go along the coast of Belize, you see huge conch shells everywhere – polished and on display, heaps on the beach and in the water and used, sometimes, in construction.

The word, by the way, is pronounced CONK here in Belize.

The beautiful, sometimes HUGE conch shell is the outside of a pretty ugly sea snail. A mollusk. It reaches it’s maximum length of about a foot in three to five years….which I find pretty miraculous. When it is soft, young and tender, it has quite a few predators but once it grows the hard shell? Very few can get in there.

Okay…enough chatter…here are some of my favorite conch dishes and where to get them in San Pedro. I LOVE conch soup. Like a chowder but a bit thinner and made with coconut milk, it’s just delicious. I’ve had a number of good ones but my favorites?

Conch fritters are very popular in all of Belize but I almost never order them. They tend to be doughy or oily or…I’m just not the biggest fan. But when they are done right? Like at El Fogon? They are delicious.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Re: Conch Season Re-opens for Harvesting Oct. 1! [Re: Marty] #496615
10/09/14 05:23 AM
10/09/14 05:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,307
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Conch Fishing San Pedro, Belize

On the first day of the season, Sanpedranos in Belize are up at the crack of dawn and heading out to fish for conch in order for them to supply the restaurants, bars and homes on the island. Those who don’t fish eagerly await for the days batch to arrive and either purchase their fresh conch or head to their favorite locale to have some conch ceviche, or their conch soup or fritters.

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