News Releases

Issues Relating to the Closing of Conch Season

The Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) would like to advise the public that under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance, Regulation 17A, “no person shall export conch during the period commencing on the fifteenth day of July and extending to and including the fifteenth day of October in each year.” This regulation includes all conch products, including meat, shells and pearls.

The above regulation was enacted into law on the 4th of November, 2011 and has been in effect since that date; however, many visitors and residents have recently been surprised and disappointed when conch products have been confiscated at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre and PLS International Airport.

Queen conch (Strombus gigas) is an internationally threatened species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In order to comply with CITES rules, TCI must enforce a closed season for export on conch products. Other legally obtained shells are not regulated under these rules and can continue to be exported.

DEMA urges all persons in the tourism sector, including hoteliers, villa owners and vendors to please advise visitors of these rules.

Any questions regarding any of the above information can be directed to DEMA at 941-5122.

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