Conch nursery to boost sustainable fisheries in OECS region

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“Aliger gigas s (conch) an endangered marine creature, will soon be reared in a controlled and protected environment. Pictured is a man proudly displaying his legitimate catch.
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In a move aimed at promoting sustainable fisheries and protecting endangered marine species, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is set to establish a conch nursery in the sub-region, according to Dr Didacus Jules, Director-General of the OECS Commission.

During an exclusive interview with state media at the recent SIDS4 Conference, Dr Jules revealed that Antigua and Barbuda will be among the beneficiaries of this initiative.

“There’s a lot of good news coming down the pipe because, for example, we have been having discussions with UNTAG and sites, the Convention on the trading in endangered species. And the agreement is that they are actually going to help us build a conch nursery in Canouan in the Grenadines, that will serve the OECS,” Dr Jules stated.

The conch nursery is expected to play a crucial role in replenishing conch populations and supporting sustainable fishing practices in the region.

Conch, a marine mollusk highly valued for its meat and shell, has faced significant population declines due to overfishing and habitat degradation.

The establishment of a dedicated nursery aims to address these challenges by providing a controlled environment for the breeding and rearing of conch, ultimately contributing to the long-term sustainability of the species.

The OECS Commission’s partnership with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) underscores the region’s commitment to environmental conservation and responsible resource management.

In addition to promoting sustainable fisheries, the conch nursery is expected to have broader implications for the local economies of OECS member countries, as conch serves as an important source of income and food security for many coastal communities.

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