Volume 72

Status of the queen conch (Lobatus gigas) (Linnaeus, 1758) populations in the Seaflower biosphere reserve and sustainable management implications.

Azcarate, R; A. Rojas-Archbold; E. Castro; D. L. Gomez
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 345

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


The queen conch Lobatus gigas is an important fisheries resource in the Caribbean region. The Departmental Government of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providence and Santa Catalina and CORALINA have been monitoring this species populations for more than a decade. Between September and October 2017, populations of the queen conch were evaluated in the Serranilla bank (northern Seaflower MPA) and Courtown and Southwest Cays (southern area of Seaflower MPA). Abundance and density estimates were made from visual assessments and biometrics along transects in stations within the cays’ reef shelf, randomly generated since 2007. In Serranilla the total average density (TAD) was 28.74 ind./ha (± 47.5), with a maximum of 208.33 ind./ha, mostly adults, the highest density recorded there during this decade. In Courtown and Southwest Cays the TAD was 124.26 ind./ha (± 840.69), and 39 ind./ha (± 236.36), respectively, most of them juveniles. In Serrana the TAD were 303 ind/ha (± 704.12) with a total biomass of the adult stock of 313 tons. We concluded that the populations of the queen conch in Serranilla and in the southern area of the MPA have densities similar to those of overexploited areas in the Caribbean and it’s necessary to implement relevant measures that allow to recovery and sustainable use of this resource by the communities in the Seaflower biosphere reserve. Moreover, Serrana seems to maintain the queen conch fisheries in the archipelago due to geomorphological, weather and species ethology conditions, being the only place nowadays where fishing this resource is allowed.

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