It has been 3 years since I have been on San Salvador Island, and I got to go back and spend the last ten days there. About 3 or 4 years before that, I went to San Salvador with BREEF on the Teacher Training Workshop. and before that in 200 with the Ecology class with Mr. Johnson from COB.
This past week, I saw the biggest queen conch I have ever seen. I free dived down in Rice bay, within the boundaries of the new San Salvador Island Marine Protected Area. It gave me hope.
The Bahamas is placing more land and water into protected areas than ever before. Our citizens are more educated and aware of the issues facing our environment and how to protect it. Most importantly, we are more engaged with our youth and giving them more opportunities to share and explore the natural treasures of the Bahamas. This Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) is quite possible the biggest I have ever seen.
To be honest I was winded when I swam back to shore with it to show my students, but if you cannot tell by my face, I was overjoyed to find such a beautiful healthy specimen. I kept it in the Gerace Research Center Wet Lab for a few days so other researchers could show it to their students as well. It was the only live Queen Conch I saw on the trip, but it was alive, and I have hope.
Let’s continue to support Conchservation, hopefully we can see more of these. Hopefully we won’t be Conched Out.