Hail to the queen – saving the Caribbean queen conch
” Aquaculture, in addition to conservation of reproducing populations and fishery management, are methods to assist ensure durability of the species,” said Davis. “Our queen conch aquaculture task in Puerto Rico will serve as a design to ensure that conch populations are readily available for future fishing and to assist food security for Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean area.”
With an approximated lifespan in between 25 to 40 years, the queen conch (Strombus gigas) is a prized delicacy long harvested for food and is revered for its gorgeous shell. Second only to the spiny lobster, it is one of the most crucial benthic fisheries in the Caribbean area. The species deals with a difficulty of survival: how to thrive and endure, as populations are in a stable state of decline from overfishing, environment degradation and hurricane damage. In some places, the conch populations have decreased so low that the remaining conch can not discover reproducing partners. This alarming scenario is immediate in eco-friendly and economic terms.
The manual is a deliverable of the Puerto Rico Saltonstall-Kennedy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries grant, which is a two-year cooperation and project with Conservación Conciencia, the Naguabo Commercial Fishing Association and fishers in Puerto Rico.
This new, thorough handbook will be used to support the eLearning platform that consists of place-based experiential activities and workshops that can be accessed by anybody, which is included in FAU Harbor Branchs crowd financing initiative, Save the Queen of the Sea.
” I wrote this edition for the Puerto Rican fishers of the Naguabo Fishing Association who are discovering to run the Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery and Nursery,” stated Megan Davis, Ph.D., author and a research teacher of aquaculture and stock enhancement, FAUs Harbor Branch, who worked together with Victoria Cassar, a science communicator who designed the manual. “However, most of the info presented in this new handbook can be used to other queen conch hatchery and nursery jobs to produce conch for sustainable seafood, preservation and repair.”
Preferred outcomes consist of developing protected locations where conch breeding populations can generate egg masses for future populations; raising queen conch for education, preservation, remediation and sustainable seafood through the facility of in-classroom, research, pilot-scale or industrial size hatcheries; and locating safeguarded habitats to release hatchery-reared juvenile conch to help repopulate seagrass beds to reconstruct conch stocks.
With ask for queen conch mariculture knowledge coming from many neighborhoods throughout the Caribbean consisting of The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Antigua, and Turks and Caicos Islands, and with the recent release of this handbook, Davis and partners are broadening their Caribbean-wide queen conch preservation, education and restorative mariculture program.
The objective: to produce up to 2,000 queen conch juveniles in a fishers-operated aquaculture center for release into conch juvenile habitats. The team is working with the fishery neighborhoods, making use of the industrial Fishing Associations working waterside for conch aquaculture facilities, assisting offer diversified earnings for the fishery neighborhoods, promoting aquaculture practices, and guaranteeing the conch population is readily available for future fishing and food security through aquaculture and restoration.
” Forty years of queen conch mariculture research and pilot-scale to business application carried out by Dr. Davis holds pledge as a method of resolving this important scenario with the queen conch through community-based options,” stated James Sullivan, Ph.D., executive director of FAUs Harbor Branch. “There are no other mariculture laboratories with the understanding and capacity that she brings to the table to tackle the predicament of the queen conch.”
To maintain this most substantial molluscan fishery in the Caribbean, a researcher from Florida Atlantic Universitys Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has actually devoted more than 4 decades of research study into the science and art of growing queen conch. Her latest contribution– an 80-page, detailed user manual that provides complete illustrations and pictures of how to culture queen conch. The “Queen Conch Aquaculture: Hatchery and Nursery Phases User Manual,” was recently published in the National Shellfisheries Associations Journal of Shellfish Research.
Materials supplied by Florida Atlantic University. Original written by Gisele Galoustian. Keep in mind: Content may be modified for style and length.
In some locations, the conch populations have actually decreased so low that the remaining conch can not discover reproducing partners. Last year, Davis teamed up with Conservación ConCiencia in Puerto Rico to help with stock improvement fisheries of the queen conch. The objective: to produce up to 2,000 queen conch juveniles in a fishers-operated aquaculture center for release into conch juvenile habitats. The team is working with the fishery communities, making use of the industrial Fishing Associations working waterfront for conch aquaculture infrastructure, helping supply diversified incomes for the fishery communities, promoting aquaculture practices, and making sure the conch population is offered for future fishing and food security through aquaculture and remediation.