The queen conch, Strombus gigas, is the largest gastropod mollusk in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Conch fishing began during pre-Columbian times and continues up to the present, given the high nutritional and economic value of its meat. This fishery has extended through out the region, with signs of overexploitation evident at some localities (i.e., Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras). Unfortunately, long-term chronological data for landings of this resource have not been well documented, except for the oldest records at the Turks and Caicos Islands (only about 100 years). However, an excellent indicator of queen conch exploitation is presented in some places by the accumulations of shell remains that can be and have been used in the historical reconstruction of conch fisheries. The intent of the present study is 1) to review and synthesize the cumulative experience through case studies from our research in The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, México and Venezuela; 2) present evidence for the exploitation of this resource during pre-Columbian as well as contemporary times; and 3) discuss different approaches and methodologies, with the goal of stimulating research in this field and offering recommendations for future work.