Volume 58

Abundance and Fishery Characterization of Queen Conch Strombus gigas (Mollusca: Strombidae) in the San Bernardo Archipelago, Colombian Caribbean

Ballesteros, F., C. Garcia-Valencia, M. Rueda, K. Gómez, L.S. Mejía
Download PDF Open PDF in Browser

Other Information

Date: November, 2005

Pages: 393-398

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Eighth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres

Country: Colombia


One of the few geographic areas where S. gigas is distributed in Colombia is the San Bernardo Archipelago, where even though the status as a Natural National Park, this species continues being targeted for fishery commercialization despite a recent evaluation of declining populations and fishery conditions. Based on systematic surveys done with SCUBA equipment in depths of 0 - 11 m in two different seasons (rainy and dry), estimation of abundance was done by counting and measuring conchs in a 1,256 m2 area that constituted the surface of stations (sampling unit) in the different seasons. Independently, 38 fishermen of the archipelago were in person surveyed for five days, with the goal of characterizing the fishery of this resource in the short term. Mean abundance of queen conch didn’t differ significantly (H1,287 = 1.09; p>0.1) between rainy (3.6 ± 0.7 Ind/ha) and dry seasons (2.7 ± 0.6 Ind/ha), where juvenile population (total shell length <22cm) represented no less than 80% for each season. The fishery of S. gigas in the ASB is multiespecific and artisanal type, carried out by divers up to 18 m in depth. S. gigas is part of the incidental catch, where the main targeted resource is the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus). Catch per unit of effort (CPUE) in dry season was in average 0.3 ± 0.1 kg of conch/hour, locally being the second most profitable product with potential income per fisher of $US10/day. The abundance of S. gigas and the CPUE index, are below the cited values for other Colombian and Caribbean regions, which linked to a population structure mostly juveniles, are evidence of heavy exploitation. Consequently, management strategies such as temporal and spatial closure in key seasons and sites are required for resource conservation.

PDF Preview