Volume 61

First Results of Reproductive Cycle of Deep-sea Queen Conch, Strombus gigas, from FWI, Martinique

Reynal, L., M. Enríquez-Díaz, and D. Aldana Aranda.
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Date: November, 2008

Pages: 506-508

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-First Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Gosier

Country: Guadeloupe


The queen conch Strombus gigas is a marine resource of commercial importance in the Caribbean countries supporting a high fishing pressure that reduced dramatically its populations as it represents one of the most valuable resources in the region. The North American market absorbed 80% of the conch production, 17% is exported to French islands. and 3% is consumed in the other Caribbean countries. The fishing pressure in most Caribbean countries has caused the reduction of the populations of S. gigas, forcing to the establishment of regulatory measures. FWI fishery had 2007 boats, which are essentially artisan fishery boats. Studies of the reproductive cycle of S. gigas are necessary to regulate this resource in the Caribbean region. An improvement of the abundance assessment should be realized. A better knowledge of factors inducing gonadic maturity process, and recruitment and their seasonality should be necessary to improve the management of fishing and bans periods and areas to ensure of recruitment. The management regulations for S. gigas in Martique do not exist. This study shows the first results of reproductive cycle of S. gigas from 30 - 40 m landed at Vauclin, Martinique, FWI (14° 30’N and 60°45’W°). All of the conchs could be old, as they have a very a lip thickness between 20 - 40 mm. Thirty to fifty samples were taken in March, June, September, and December. The group of conchs, exhibited a whole maturation cycle with gametogenesis in March, June, and September, a mature period in June, spawn period was observed in September and most of the conchs were undifferentiated in December. These observations showed that the old queen conchs also have the ability to have a normal reproductive cycle. Based on these observations, it would be possible to suggest a regulatory measure with a temporal ban from 1st May to 30 September. The level of protection will depend on an efficient survey of the populations and a high enforcement of regulations to control exploitation and reduce illegal fishing.

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