Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Didacus Jules has expressed optimism about a sustainable conch industry that will help to sustain livelihoods and preserve this the resource for future generations.
The trade in conch has been estimated at $68 million, with data from CITES showing that between 1992 and 2001, 21.61 million pounds of conch was exported from the region.
Conch takes four to five years to reach reproduction age and hatcheries provide a safe environment for them to grow and reproduce.
Jules said the two-day regional workshop of the OECS Blue BioTrade Action Plan for the queen conch value chain, held in St. Vincent this month, discussed the creation of a hatchery on Union Island.
He said such a facility would be of critical importance to the sustainability of the conch industry, adding that all supporting architecture — legal, scientific and financial — must be put in place to allow the industry to grow organically.
Conch is threatened by overfishing and climate change.
The workshop brought together fisheries stakeholders from across the region, as well as representatives from the European Union and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Unit.
OECS Government needs to implement an open and close season for Conch to guarantee sustainability so stocks can be adequately replenished. The same can me said for the spiny lobster. This has worked extremely well in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Oecs boss probably love to drauht conch. A few years down the road you will hear different.
I am from union island and was comparing about harvesting conch for the longest while even baite food for fish Sprott and fry very little remain fish not making young ones or getting pregnant because they are not seeing food for their children I have done all the studies to farm those small fish I identified the location and will oppose the government soon thanks for the awaking
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