Kralendijk- This afternoon a box full of poached conch shells could be seen close to the shore, on the main road to Sabadeco.
Many of the shells, obviously from illegal conch fishing, were relatively small with a few exceptions. It is unknown if the box was left at the location by the poachers, or if divers collected the shells to put them road-side. The site, although relatively close to the shore, is not a place where conch is normally encountered.
Harvesting the Queen Conch or Pink Conch, whose scientific name is Strombus gigas is illegal on the island as the species are endangered because of years of over-fishing.
The species is also endangered worldwide, and therefore trade in conch is regulated by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
The conch-meat is considered a delicacy in Bonaire and, according to STINAPA’s website, illegal poaching is an everlasting and ongoing issue threatening to bring the population up to a sustainable level.