Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Belize Queen conch fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2017
Belize Queen conch fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Queen conch fishery
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Location of Belize Queen conch fishery

Geographic reference:  Belize
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2013
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Gear nei
Type of production system: Artisanal
Fishery Area: Belize

Seasonality: 1 October to 30 June

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
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Bottom type: Coral reef.   Depth zone: Coastal - Shallow waters, inshore (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Littoral.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.   Sea floor physiography: Lagoons; Unspecified.  

Depths ranging from 1.5 - 27 meters along the barrier reef, patch reefs, reef lagoon and in the 3 atolls.

Geo References
Resources Exploited
Queen conch - Belize
Vessel Type
Fishing vessels not specified
Size of fishing vessels between 16 to 40 feet in length and vessels divided into two main types: outboard motor powered skiffs and sailing boats (can carry up to 8 fishermen).

Catch Handling and Processing Equipment
Sailing boats (equipped with ice boxes for product storage) use small outboard engines (15-40 Hp).
Flag State
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Only free Diving
Related Fisheries - Fishery(ies) switching activity seasonally or targeting the same stock
Belize Lobster fishery
1 October to 30 June
Trip Duration
6-10 days
Fisherfolks Community
Belize nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 543vessels2013
EmploymentNumber of fishermen 2496Persons2013
ProductionLanded Volume 439 (85%clean)tonnes2013
Landed Value 5.47 - 98% exportmillion USD2013
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Belize fisheries department
Mandate: Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Belize
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Conch Management Plan with focus on Catch control, Effort control, Fish size limits, Environment protection - Binding

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum size: The shell length should exceed 7 inches or 18 cm. Market clean conch weight should exceed 3 ounces or 85g. Diced conch is prohibited
  • Gear-related measures
    No SCUBA diving
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Authorisations (managed Access Programme), Closed Area (8 marine reserves), Closed season (1 Jul- 30 Sep), Fishing quotas
Status and Trends
Since 2004, the number of boats remains stable, although the number of fishermen is increasing. Trend of the fishery: stable
Source of Information
Fisheries Department, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Belize City, Belize. Personal communication, June 2017.  Click to open
FAO Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. 2014. Report of the fifteenth session of the Commission, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 26–28 March 2014. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report Nº 1069. Bridgetown, Barbados. FAO. 132pp.  Click to open
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