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.