Helping to Sustain a Way of Life in the Bahamas

Connecting with the community

By admin | 3 July 2012 | No Comments
Published in Abaco Expedition 2012, Outreach, Uncategorized

When Community Conch visits a a location to conduct surveys, we also set a high priority on meeting with the people who are in touch with the resource on a daily basis. These folks might be fishers, fisheries officers, restaurant owners, other scientists, and local conservationists. By connecting with them, we get a better idea of things like fishing pressure, market trends, conch population trends, important fishing areas, and of course, all of the concerns and opinions that these stakeholders are willing to share. Our work in the Bight of Abaco was centered around two settlements, Sandy Point and More’s Island, which are both are very reliant on their lobster and conch fisheries. A high percentage of the men in these communities are fishermen, and so it was our goal to hear directly from them. We also wanted to make sure they knew what we were up to on their fishing grounds! Here’s a picture of the public meeting in Sandy Point, and a few that illustrate the fishing lifestyle of the two settlements.

Catherine talking with fishermen in Sandy Point about estimating the age of a conch and reproductive maturity.

Fishing skiffs in Sandy Point. photo by C. Booker

Larger fishing boats in More's Island. photo by M. Davis

A conch shell pile or midden on the shoreline of More's Island. photo by M. Davis

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adult conch

A Queen Conch flares its shell lip at 3-4 years, but it may take 6 years to reach sexual maturity.