Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Queen conch fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Fishery Resources Report 2016
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Queen conch fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Conch fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: The conch habitats are found on the transboundary Grenada bank, hence the fishery is based mainly in the Grenadine Island chain. Approximately 60% of conch are exported.

Location of  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Queen conch fishery

Geographic reference:   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2014
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Gear nei
Type of production system: Artisanal
Fishery Area: Saint Vincent/Grenadines

Seasonality: All year

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Queen conch

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Fishing vessels not specified
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Bottom type: Seagrass; Soft bottom.   Depth zone: Coastal (0 m - 50 m); Shelf - Uppershelf (up to 100 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Queen conch inhabit areas with sand, seagrass beds and flat sandy areas. 

Geo References
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Mask, snorkel and fins
Vessel Type
Fishing vessels not specified
Flat transoms: these are commonly called bow and stern, dories or cigarette. They are open boats 3 - 6 m (11- 27 ft) in length with a beam of 0.9 - 2.1 m. They are constructed from wood or marine plywood. The wood or plywood in many cases is covered by epoxy or fibreglass. Flat transom boats have a pointed bow and flat stern. They are powered by one or two outboard gasoline engines ranging from 14 to 115 hp. 

Flag State
Saint Vincent/Grenadines
Fleet segment
Three fishers work on each boat, consisting of a diver, floater and boat operator. The diver collects conchs in a mesh bag using SCUBA gear while the floater remains on the surface free-diving and watching over the diver. The floater periodically lowering a basket or canvas bag to the diver to lad the conch with is then hauled up by the driver of the boat.
All year
Kima, Pafa, Asht, Clif, Cano
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels ~17vessels2008
EmploymentNumber of fishermen 45Persons2008
ProductionLanded Volume ~22 (tonnes/year)tonnes1990-2011
Landed Volume 54tonnes2014
Landed Value 68 500USD/year2014
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Human consumption
Barbados,Trinidad and Tobago, USA, British Virgin Islands
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Mandate: Management.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Saint Vincent/Grenadines
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
The Fisheries Division has the following pieces of legislation to assist with the management and development of the sector: The Fisheries Act (1986) and Regulation (1987). These form part of the OECS harmonized legislation. Cover: Fisheries access agreements, local and foreign fishing licencing, fisheries research, enforcement, registration of fishing vessels as well as conservation measures such as close season, size restriction etc.
Management Methods

Fisheries Regulations with focus on Size limit, Spawner/Juvenile protection - Binding

No person shall take sell or purchase or have in his possession any immature conch. Immature conch means a conch shell which is smaller than 7 inches, does not have a flared lip or a conch with the toltal meat weight of less than 8 ozs after the digestive gland is removed.
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum size, minimum weight
Source of Information
Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Personal communication, January 2016.  Click to open
Baldwin, K., Punnett, S. and B. Chakalall. 2008. A Preliminary Investion of the Queen Conch Fishery in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Click to open
Jardine, C. and L. Straker. 2003. Fisheries Data Information Document, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 52pp.
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