Sunday, May 31, 2020
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Action needed to save conch fishery

Dear Editor,

I wish to thank and commend you for the editorial titled “Protecting the Fishery Long Term”. Hopefully it will be read by many of your readers.

My roots go back to Cherokee Sound, once the conch capital of Abaco. Today the only conch harvested are undersized or large ones from the deep using compressors. Up until 10 years ago one could obtain conch between the mainland and the 100 miles of off-lying cays. Today that area has been completely fished out.

Now to the article under review:

(i) I agree with the article that a closed season must be implemented to help save the industry.

(ii) There should be a complete ban on the export of conch. We cannot afford to share our limited resources with other countries.

(iii) The ban on the taking of undersized conch should be vigorously enforced. This is extremely difficult due to the method one must use. Educating the fishermen is the only way.

(iv) If we do not convince the fishermen and the government of the seriousness of the information provided there will come a time when conch will be no longer, as it is throughout the Caribbean and Florida.

– Patrick J. Bethel

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