Conch Season Opens Today, Oct. 1

Posted By: Marty

Conch Season Opens Today, Oct. 1 - 10/01/20 11:07 AM

After six months of closure, Thursday, October 1st, 2020 will officially mark the beginning of our 2020-2021 fishing season of the Queen Conch. They changed the name of the species globally at the beginning of the year!.It's now called Lobatus gigas instead of Strombus gigas.

Fresh conch meat is fine to eat the moment it leaves the body of the shell and has a sweet, tender taste; though the muscle known as the foot requires tenderizing before consumption. While every fisherman and chef you meet will have their own take on preparing conch ceviche, the most common ingredients, beyond the obvious conch meat, are lime, cilantro, onion, tomato and usually habanero peppers. Conch fritters, soup, chowder and steak are other common ways by which conch is served. June 30th, 2021 has been set as the closure date for the 2021-2022 season or earlier, if the quota is met before.

The Fisheries Administrator hereby reminds the public that the Conch Season will officially open from October 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021. The public is advised that if the conch production quota is realized earlier, the conch season will be declared closed.

Fisheries Regulation which relates to Queen Conch.

Regulation 6. (1) No person shall take in the waters of Belize or buy, sell or have in his possession-

(a) any conch between the 1st July and the 30th September, inclusive, in any year;

(b) (i) at any time, conch the overall shell length of which does not exceed 7 inches (17.8 centimeters);
ii) the weight of unprocessed conch taken which does not exceed 7 ½ ounces (213 grams);
iii) the weight of partially process (market clean) conch taken which does not exceed 3 ounces (85 grams);
iv) the weight of fully process (fillet) conch taken which does not exceed 2 ¾ ounces (78 grams);

Regulation 6. (2) No fisherman shall buy, sell or have in his possession in Belize, fillet or diced conch (Lobatus gigas) meat other than market clean, except under a special permit issued by the Fisheries Administrator.

Regulation 6. (3) No person or establishment shall buy, sell or have in his possession diced conch (Lobatus gigas) meat except under a special permit issued by the Fisheries Administrator.

The Fisheries Department advises the Public to report any illegal fisheries activity by calling telephone numbers: 224-4552 or 223-2623 or by email at at [email protected] or [email protected] The public is assured that all information communicated to the Fisheries Department will be treated with the strictest of confidence!

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Posted By: Marty

Re: Conch Season Opens Today, Oct. 1 - 10/01/20 06:29 PM

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October 1st: The Opening of Conch Season & The Best Ways to Eat It

TODAY! Conch season is here in Belize. October 1st until April 30th or sooner if the Queen Conch quota set by the department of fisheries is filled. The giant sea creature (he’s technically a snail but…let’s not ruminate too long on that) is a favorite across Belize. No matter where you go along the coast of Belize, you see huge queen conch shells everywhere – polished and on display, heaps on the beach and in the water, and used, sometimes, in older construction.

Artist Dimus Guerrero on Ambergris Caye also makes some gorgeous pieces. A must visit on a trip here. Every first-time visitor wants to take one of these giant shells home. Some learn the hard way, that you can not bring one in your carry-on bag. Airport security sees this as a security hazard.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Posted By: Marty

Re: Conch Season Opens Today, Oct. 1 - 10/01/20 08:17 PM

Conch season in Belize opens today (1st October), and so our Community Liaison Officer has been out at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll this week, conducting boat-to-boat outreach with the fisherfolk who depend on the sustainability of the fisheries at the atoll for their livelihoods.

As well as reminding the fishers of the conch regulations and ecosystem health, we've been speaking to them about their expectations for the season and any struggles small scale fisheries are facing, offering support where we can.

Our boat-to-boat outreach has proved a highly efficient strategy for engaging with the fishers, and taking a partnership approach - combined with our regular conch monitoring work - will help to ensure sustainable stocks for years to come.

Belize Audubon Society

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