Kralendijk- The queen conch is considered a delicacy on Bonaire. Evidence of this can be seen at Lac Bay where the remnants of the past can still be seen in the conch shell middens in the area. The fact that people on Bonaire love to eat the conch, does have its impact on the population of conches on the island though.
Adult conchs are almost no longer encountered in our waters and most specifically in Lac Bay, where they used to exist in abundance. According to nature organization STINAPA, there is still conches are still being harvested, in spite of the official prohibition to do so.
The problem with the harvesting is, that what is taken out of the water are baby conch which did not yet have the chance to reproduce. According to STINAPA, it takes about 4 to 5 years for conch to mature and start reproducing. STINAPA warns that if there is no change in attitude towards the reaping of young chonch, there will be no more conch left in the waters of Bonaire.
The Queen Conch is a protected species and it is strictly prohibited to take conch.