Title: Review of queen conch (Lobatus gigas) sampling efforts in the commonwealth of the Bahamas

Author(s): Indira Brown
Final project
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queen conch; the Bahamas; Lobatus gigas


Recognising the commercial importance of the queen conch fishery, increasing fishing effort, and high demand ininternational trade for resources, there are concerns about the long-term sustainability of queen conch stocks throughout The Bahamas. The objective of this study was to review the sampling efforts of queen conch in The Bahamas and evaluate the precision of the estimates when reducing the sample. Analyses were performed to quantify the spatial coverage of previous surveys. Permutation analyses were carried out on mean abundance to evaluate the precision of the estimates when reducing the sample effortson three size classes of queen conch, from survey sites in the Ragged Island and the Jumentos Cays; Sandy Point, Abaco, and Mores Island, Abaco. The results suggested that sampling effort can slightly be reduced to expand the survey area or reallocate effort in areas that have not been surveyed. The total surveyed area was estimated at a total of 3,567 km². The total habitat of queen conch was estimated at an approximate size of 11,888 km². The layers comprised of two previously identified queen conch habitats and queen conch surveyed areas that were obtained from The Nature Conservancy-Northern Caribbean Division, Community Conch and FAO. If the spatial distribution is an accurate representation of queen conch habitat, the proportion of habitat areas that have been surveyed at least once was estimated to be at 30% of the total. Results from surveyed areas indicate queen conch density is below reproduction capacity threshold in many areas. The Bahamas must attempt to improve management efforts to conserve and ensure the sustainability of this fishery.

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