The government is taking extreme measures to preserve the Bahamian conch by ending its exportation by 2022.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard said, “We have over the last two years, going into the third year, gradually decrease the conch quota. And so by 2022, there will be zero export of conch from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
Why it matters
Research shows that conch is in danger of being overfished and is under threat of extinction in the Bahamas. The conch population is decreasing faster than it is able to reproduce.
What Michael Pintard says
Before the passage of the Fisheries bill, Pintard told the House of Assembly:
- People leave a graveyard of conch shells which is a foreign practice that will come to an end through the new legislation.
- Tourists can no longer harvest conch in Bahamian water and consume it. The conch will not be a part of the bag that they are able to catch in Bahamian waters.
- Sports fishermen will have a boat limit on the number of fish that they can catch. The legislation puts an end to bag limits and has implemented boat limits instead.
“Those loopholes that people use to fill their coolers and their deep freeze and sell, we are now closing those loopholes.”