Volume 62

Histories of Success for the Conservation of Populations of Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) Population

Baqueiro-Cárdenas, E,; Aldana-Aranda, D.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 306-312

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

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


The Queen conch, Strombus gigas, from Xel-Há Park was studied to determine the role of the natural protected area on the species’ structure and basic population parameters, estimated from catch recapture data. Conchs were sampled from 2001 to 2009 to evaluate the Von Bertalanffy equation parameters for total shell length, and weight with and without flared lip. The population number varies through the year, with a maximum of 9 800 conchs. Growth parameters estimated from weight gave a good adjustment for both segments of the population. A maximum age of 19 years was estimated for the population. Mortality estimates was 0.55 a year for conchs without flared lip and 0.72 a year for those with a flared lip. Recruitment patterns showed two pulses, maximum during spring–summer and a secondary one during fall. The presence of older and larger individuals (19 years age) as well as the presence of larger number of juveniles during ten years is an indication of the effectiveness of the Xel-Há Park as a marine protected area (MPA) and supports the thesis that MPA’s are an effective safe ground for juveniles and reproductive stocks. The monitoring of almost 10 years permitted to observe that ecotourism and conservation of a threatened species as S. gigas they are feasible

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