Thursday, July 25, 2024

Queen Conch season closes on Sunday


The Belize Fisheries Department reminds everyone that the season of the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) will close on Sunday, May 14th. All fishing activities for the Queen Conch should cease as of this date until the next season, opening on October 1, 2023.

Queen Conch meat

After meeting the annual production quota, the Fisheries Department announced the season’s closing, which allows the marine species time to reproduce uninterrupted. The department is yet to release what was the allotment this year. They also advised fishermen and establishments that no one should have the Queen Conch meat after Sunday, May 14th. The product must be consumed before this date, and fishermen who cannot sell it before then are encouraged to donate to places like schools and children’s homes.
The Fisheries Department warns that anyone found with this marine product after Sunday will be charged and prosecuted in a court of law under the Fisheries Regulations. Penalties include a $500 fine, imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both fine and imprisonment. In the case of illegal harvesting, a person found guilty of the offense can be charged per individual conch, usually around $50 per conch.
Enjoy it while it lasts
In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye the Queen Conch is consumed in conch fritters, chowder, and ceviche. Many restaurants are having specials as the closing date of the season approaches. Fishermen in the Embarcadero area, west of downtown San Pedro, also offer fresh conch for $15 a pound. They even offer free delivery. It is a popular staple across the island and enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
The Belize Fisheries Department advises the public that to support the sustainability of the use of marine resources, it is essential to report any illegal fisheries activity by calling telephone numbers: 224-4552 or 223-2623 or email at [email protected] or [email protected]. The public is assured that all information communicated to the Fisheries Department will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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