Volume 68

Population Trends and Management Effectiveness of Queen Conch, Strombus gigas, in Western Puerto Rico

Baker, N., R. Appeldoorn, and P.A. Torres-Saavedra
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Date: November, 2015

Pages: 379 - 380

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

City: Panama City

Country: Panama


The queen conch, Strombus gigas, resource continues to support a commercial fishery (valued at around $543,000 USD) in Puerto Rico, despite a history of overfishing and low densities. In the mid 1980s, one boat trip could average 73-kg of meat, while the same trip in the early 2000s could only average 33-kg (Valle-Esquival 2002). Catch was based on juveniles (Appeldoorn 1991), and fishing mortality was greater than natural mortality (Appeldoorn 1987). A general trend of decreasing catch has been observed since the early 1980’s (SEDAR 2007) and total density has not exceeded 22/ha (Figure 1). In order to reassess the population status, the goals of this study were to generate updated density estimates for queen conch and to assess trends and evaluate hypotheses of management interest using generalized linear mixed models. Density data were supplemented by size/age data.

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