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Conch Season Opens Today #538523
10/01/19 04:38 AM
10/01/19 04:38 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
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Itís time to rejoice Conch Season on Tuesday October 1st, 2019. It marks the beginning of the 2019- 2020 fishing season of the Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas). The Conch Seasons will be closed on June 30th, 2020.

Conch is a mollusk that lives in a beautifully vibrant pink shell in the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea. Get all the fresh, tasty conch that your heart desires from October to June while the season is open.

It's October 1st and Its finally the opening of the conch season and all fishermen have headed out to sea to catch their product for the day. Everyone is excited for this day to come as for the fishermen, this brings money to their pockets and various delicacy to our table. Here in Caye Caulker, conch fritters and ceviche are the number one delicacy you can find at the restaurant and it is also sold on the street by venders. Today We got a close look at how the fishermen work tirelessly to extract the conch out of their shells. The conch season lasts up until June 30th.

This seafood generates millions of dollars for Belize, and the season usually runs for approximately seven months or until the conch quota set for that period has been met, whichever comes first.

During this new season, the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD) would once again like to advise the public on the regulations regarding the fishing and handling of the Queen Conch. The shell must exceed seven inches in length, and establishments cannot have diced conch meat in their possession. As for conch flesh processed as market clean, the weight should exceed three ounces, while filleted flesh, which is completely processed white meat, should exceed 2.75 ounces. Those who fail to follow these regulations will have penalties levied against them.

According to the Fisheries Act 15(1), penalties should not exceed $500 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment. Persons found guilty of the offense can be charged per individual conch, which is normally around $50 per conch.

The 2019 -2020 Queen Conch season is set to close on June 30, 2020, or when they reach the national quota. The department further reminds everyone that closed seasons are essential as they coincide with reproductive seasons. It is a critical time for the population of conchs to recuperate and recover. Without this protection, these species would most certainly disappear within our area, not only having a detrimental effect on the marine ecosystem but diminishing the livelihood of local fisherfolk and culinary tourism.

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Re: Conch Season Opens Today [Re: Marty] #538648
10/09/19 04:40 AM
10/09/19 04:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Queen Conch Quota

We asked Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator, about this year's conch quota. The season opened on October first and we wondered how the quote is being managed. Last year, fishers fulled up the quota from early in the year, but Fisheries still let the season stay open until the end of April.

Wade says Belize has an abundant and well-managed resource:...

Beverly Wade - Fisheries Administrator
"It's been an excellent start to the conch season this year. The Fisheries Department applies an adaptive management approach to its conch fishery where it monitors the production through the open season and it looks at certain indicators. The realization of the conch quota obviously is one of the indicators that we look at clearly, but there are other indicators that we look at to ensure that the conch is performing the way that we expect it to perform."

"And based on that performance, we meet with the industry and then we decide, how, we would proceed in the rest of the open season, really."

"And so, I can't say weather we will have a shorter season, or I cannot say if the season will go until the end of the period, but one thing I can say is that conch is vigilantly monitored by the fisheries department and its partners, and those indicators are very much examine periodically and it determines how we're going to continue in that open season. But, I will say that we're fortunate in Belize, and my office is very much comforted from the fact that we had an excellent season last year, it looks like we're going to have a good season this year. And we have to do our darndest to ensure that we continue to have such a viable fishery."

The 2019 -2020 Queen Conch season is set to close on June 30, 2020 - but it may close earlier if the quota is again met by very early in 2020.

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