Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Turks and Caicos Islands Queen conch fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2016
Turks and Caicos Islands Queen conch fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Conch fishery
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Overview: The Queen conch fishery is a major cultural aspect of the country, being a traditional protein staple. Fishers free-dive to collect live shells, visiting areas suspected to be "conch grounds". Commercial fishers provide the product to local processors, restaurants and grocers. Processing facilities export the majority of landed conch and as such an export season and quota has been implemented for management.

Location of Turks and Caicos Islands Queen conch fishery

Geographic reference:  Turks and Caicos Islands
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2015
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Gear nei
Type of production system: Artisanal; Commercial
Fishery Area: Turks and Caicos Is.

Seasonality: October to July

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Queen conch
Associated Species: Milk conch; Flame helmet; Variegated triton

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Other fishing vessels
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Artisanal; Commercial   

Fishery Area
Bottom type: Seagrass; Coral reef; Soft bottom; Hard bottom.   Depth zone: Coastal - Shallow waters, inshore (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Caicos Bank. Algal plain, seagrass bed, rubble and patch coral reef.

Geo References
Discarded Species (Bycatch)
Astrapogon stellatus
Vessel Type
Other fishing vessels
Fiberglass, 20ft, 90HP

Flag State
Turks and Caicos Is.
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Free-diving, mask-fins, harvested by hand.
October to July

Environmental limitations

Weather/Sea conditions
Providenciales, South Caicos
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
Turks and Caicos nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels ~150vessels2015
EmploymentNumber of fishermen ~347Persons2015
ProductionLanded Volume 289 (landed meat weight: 13.333% of the live weight)tonnes2014
Landed Value 3.8 millionsUSD2013
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Conch meat, conch trimmings and conch operculum.
Turks and Caicos Islands, USA
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR)
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Turks and Caicos Is.
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Fisheries Regulations with focus on catch control, spawner/juvenile protection - Binding

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum shell spiral length of 7 inches, minimum conch meat weight of 8 ounces.
  • Vessel-related measures
    Commercial fishing vessel licence, sports fishing vessel licence.
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Commercial fisherman's licence, assistant fisherman's licence, recreational fishing licence, closed areas (protected areas), export season (October - July), national harvest quota for exports (500,000 lbs)(2015), national harvest quota for local consumption (320,000 lbs)(2015).
Status and Trends
Landings data suggest a recovery of the conch stocks.
Source of Information
Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), Turks and Caicos Islands Government. Personal Communication, January, 2016.  Click to open
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