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Hetland
September 15th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Harvesting Conch.... Anyone here ever try it? I've spotted a few recently, and I'm tempted to try out a dish or two.

Are there types to avoid?

Do I need a license to harvest?

Am I just wasting my time?

mike_s
September 15th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Conch taste great if prepared properly...... "Cracked Conch" is my favorite, but conch salad is good, so are fritters.

just make sure you tenderize it. I mean alot.


I don't know if a license is required or not. Is this in Florida or Alabama waters? I doubt alabama has any rules on conch, but Florida might. (or federal laws might cover alabama).

(I'm surprised there are even conch in Alabama waters...)

EDIT...

Looks like the Queen Conch is restricted.

from FWC Recreational Sea Shell Collecting Information\
Recreational Shellfish Harvesting Information (http://myfwc.com/marine/recreational/recseashells.htm)

Prohibited Species: All harvest of the Bahama Starfish (Oreaster reticulatis) is prohibited. Possession of live Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) at any time is prohibited. It is not unlawful to possess queen conch shells in Florida as long as the shells do not contain any living queen conch at the time of collection, and so long as a living queen conch is not killed, mutilated, or removed from its shell prior to collection. Possession of conch meat or a queen conch shell having an off-center hole larger than 1/16 inch in diameter through its spire is prohibited.



from http://myfwc.com/codebook/2005/pdf/Pg_450.pdf



68B-16.003. Queen Conch, Regulation.
(1) No person shall take or harvest any
queen conch from the land or waters of the
State of Florida, or possess, transport, or land
any queen conch, wherever harvested, except
as provided in subsections (3), (4), and (5) below.
(2) No person shall kill, molest, harm, or
mutilate any queen conch anywhere within the
borders of the State of Florida.
(3) The provisions of this chapter shall not
be applicable to queen conch imported from
another country; provided, however, that any
wholesale or retail dealer in queen conch meat,
queen conch shells or products made from
queen conch shells shall maintain invoices,
receipts, bills of sale, bills of lading, or other
documentation affirmatively showing that all
queen conch meat, queen conch shells or parts
of queen conch shells in such dealer’s inventory
were imported from a foreign country.
(4) In accordance with Section 370.10(2),
F.S., the Commission may issue permits to
collect and possess queen conch for experimental,
scientific and exhibitional purposes.
(5) It is not unlawful for any person to take
or possess queen conch shells from the land or
waters of the State of Florida, so long as such
shells do not contain any living queen conch at
the time of taking, and so long as a living
queen conch is not killed, mutilated, or removed
from its shell prior to taking such shell;
provided further, that possession by any person,
while in or on the waters of the State of
Florida, of conch meat or of any queen conch
shell having an off-center hole larger than 1/16
inch in diameter through its spire shall constitute
a violation of this chapter.
(6) The presence of queen conch aboard a
vessel in, on or above the waters of the State of
Florida, while one or more persons from such
vessel are overboard, shall constitute prima
facie evidence that such queen conch were
harvested from state waters in violation of this
chapter.
(7) Any queen conch which is accidentally
caught during the course of other lawful fishing
activity shall not be deemed to be taken,
harvested, possessed or molested in violation
of this chapter, so long as such queen conch is
returned immediately to the water, unharmed.
Specific Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented
Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 6-17-85,
Amended 6-21-90, 7-15-96, Formerly 46-16.003.

68B-16.005. Queen Conch, Regulation in
Federal Waters Contiguous to Florida.
The prohibitions and presumptions contained
in section 68B-16.003 of this chapter,
relating to the taking, harvesting, possessing,
transporting, killing, molesting, harming
and/or mutilating of queen conch within the
State of Florida, apply as well to persons
aboard Florida registered vessels while in the
Fisheries Conservation Zone (FCZ) of the
United States directly contiguous to Florida
waters.
Specific Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented
Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 12-11-86,
Formerly 46-16.005.


Found this on the Alabama Dept of Conservation site about Marine Fisheries...
from http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater/regulations/fed-rec-regs.pdf

page 17

Marine Sanctuaries and Area Closures continued
Injury to or Possession of Sanctuary Resources
The following activities are prohibited:
• Injuring or removing, or attempting to injure or remove, any coral or other
bottom formation, coralline algae or other plant, marine invertebrate (e.g.,
spiny lobster, queen conch, shell, sea urchin), brine-seep biota or carbonate
rock.



Conch aren't listed at all in the Alabama Dept Conservation Rish and Game regulations
http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/regulations/2007-2008RegBook-Final.pdf

Hetland
September 15th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the info Mike. I was pretty sure that the queens were off limits anyway. I've yet to notice any "eating-size" conchs in Alabama waters, but I have seen them very, very close to Alabama waters in Florida, so I'm sure there's some overlap somewhere. I'll post if I ever get around to trying it, and let you guys know how it turns out.

DennisS
September 15th, 2008, 05:33 PM
The decline in the queen conch population was amazing. In the early seventies they were everywhere on the grass flats of south florida. I'd always grab a couple on every dive, I love conch. I wasn't alone, lots of other people liked the conch meat and shells, by the mid 1980's' they were pretty much gone. It's good to see they are starting to make a comeback due to restocking efforts and regulations.

Bratface
September 15th, 2008, 09:53 PM
You can't take them or even touch them in Florida. I don't eat them, just don't like the taste or texture.

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