Tag Archives: conch

Conche Diem!

Our research group is determining the population density of Queen Conch (pronounced “conk”) in South Eleuthera. Specifically, we are seeing if there is enough conch in the area for reproduction, since they are density-dependant. Conch is very economically, ecologically and culturally important in the Bahamas. Conch populations are declining because of overfishing and high demands for the meat in the United States. We are excited to take part in the research and we hope to help in the creation of a Marine Protected Area. Today we went out into the field and completed multiple 1,000 meter transects by towing two snorkelers at a time behind a boat while counting adult, subadult and juvenile conch. Alongside the conch we saw cushion sea stars, lobster, moon jellyfish and a large assortment of colorful fish! Honk if you love conch!
- Connor, Brian, Christina, Eunna, Nora & Maren

Conch Research Project Update: Our First Day in the Field

by Amelia Patsalos-Fox, Shane Wetmore, Sterling Wright

On Saturday we went out to free dive for conch in the shallows near the sandbar to see how many adults we could find.   It was a nice first experience for us and it taught us how to find conch even when they are camouflaged in the sand. For the past week we have been focusing on queen conch identification, history of the conch fishery, and ways to survey the population effectively. Our most exciting experience so far has been in the field. We were able to travel out into Cape Eleuthera Sound and take our first peek at some conch. As we snorkeled around, we practiced our free diving and determining live queen conch from dead shells. We mostly saw juveniles and a few sub-adult sizes. We then gathered in a group in the water to practice identifying differences between juvenile and sexually mature conch shells.  This was very helpful in learning about the shells. It was extremely hands on and we had the help of a visiting conch researcher, Catherine Booker, from Community Conch, a Bahamian non-profit organization. She had given us a presentation previously on conch in the Bahamas and it was amazing to see her teach us about proper ways spot conch. All in all it was a positive experience and was very helpful towards our future in surveying the density of conchs in the Cape Eleuthera Bite.


The following week we were able to go out and start experimenting with collecting real data. Our project hopes to identify Continue reading