Aiken, Karl A.; Kong, Andre G.; Smikle, Stephen G.; Appeldoorn, Richard; Warner, George F.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Managing Jamaica's queen conch resources
Ocean and Coastal Management
Date of Publication
Jamaica‘s industrial fishery for queen conch (Strombus gigas ) has produced a substantial amount of much-needed foreign exchange and for at least 10 years has been the most valuable component of all commercial marine fisheries activities. Since its inception in 1990 it has grown tremendously and may now be at some risk of collapse, due to problems including, among other factors, overfishing, poor enforcement, foreign poaching and under-reporting of catches. This paper examines and analyzes the problems relating to management of the conch fishery and speculates on its future. The main problems are overfishing by licensed fishers who take more than permitted, and serious poaching by industrial vessels mainly from Honduras, which exploit poor high seas enforcement by Jamaican authorities. For nearly two years the official fishery was closed due to legal issues. During closures, considerable foreign poaching occurred. The paper suggests that increased roles for the coast guard, continued quota reductions, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), could be the best options for sustainability.....