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Queen Conch Experts Workshop. Miami, United States of America, 22–24 May 2012 Paul Medley. The Report.

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Queen conch experts workshop

Queen Conch Experts Workshop

Miami, United States of America,

22–24 May 2012

Paul Medley

The report
The Report

6. “The results from the workshop have been compiled in this report in the form of conclusions and recommendations. The workshop participants were of the opinion that the recommendations, if implemented, would apply best practice in these fisheries.”

Survey design
Survey Design

  • Use previous experience of conch surveys

  • Base the survey on:

    • depth stratification

    • known fishing area

    • habitat survey

  • Use experienced conch fishers and biologists for data collection

  • Ensure diver safety

Catch and effort monitoring
Catch and Effort Monitoring

Routine reporting by the fishing industry

Collect data to standardise CPUE

VMS for larger vessels (>= 15m length)

GPS for smaller vessel

Total catch recording
Total Catch Recording

  • All catches recorded or estimated:

    • local landings

    • IUU

    • exports

  • Conversion factors for different levels of processing

  • Sample landings for size, sex and maturity

Stock assessment
Stock Assessment

Assessment approaches differ, reflecting available data and the local fishery

Operational model to simulate conch fishery data

Management strategy1
Management Strategy

  • Harvest control rules

  • Independent peer review process to evaluate data, assessment and management strategy

    • Test “deep water” biomass if it is a critical assumption of the harvest strategy

Precautionary harvest levels based on surveys
Precautionary Harvest Levels Based on Surveys

  • Safe sustainable yield:

    • 8% of mean/median fishable biomass

  • Conch density reference point:

    • 100 adult conch / ha (or higher)

Precautionary controls
Precautionary Controls

  • Prohibit compressed air based diving

  • Implement a harmonised 2-3 month closed period around spawning

  • Proscribe gears or methods for catching queen conch

  • Establish enforceable harmonised minimum:

    • size limits on shells (length / flared lip)

    • meat weight


License vessels

Apply a limited entry system

Measure fleet fishing capacity

Implement a capacity reduction program, if necessary

Ecosystem management
Ecosystem Management

MPAs or no take zones should consider conch fisheries

Habitat maps should cover conch habitat

Stock identification (larval surveys & genetic studies)

Ecosystem model

Ecological Risk Assessment

Management processes
Management Processes

Co-management to improve management and compliance

Scientific Working Groups to review advice

National fishery management plans

Mcs and iuu

Improve co-operation and share enforcement information

Use Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

Implement an auditable “chain of custody”

Research practical technology to enhance the traceability

Implement (harmonised) closed seasons

Develop a regional vessel registration system, including positive and negative (IUU) vessel lists


Draft and submit a resolution for 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES summarising in general terms the findings, conclusions and recommendations of this Expert Workshop and other relevant guidance concerning the management of and trade in Queen conch.