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Locally, welk can be confused with conch, which are both herbivores, but have different uses.We scoured the internet for some of the most interesting facts about queen conch. Enjoy!

  • The exterior of queen conch are colored to help them blend with their sandy surroundings under water.
  • Adult queen conch develop a flared lip once they reach reproductive age.
  • The thicker the shell’s flared lip is, the older the conch is.
  • Queen conch is one of the largest molluscs native to the Caribbean sea and tropical Atlantic.
  • Queen conch are also called pink conch. Throughout the Caribbean, local names for queen conch include: caracol rosa, botuto, guarura, and carrucho.
  • Conch meat can be eaten raw (e.g., ceviche) or cooked (e.g., chowders, fritters, etc).
  • All parts of the conch meat are edible.
  • Conch shells can be fashioned into effective blowing horns called shell trumpets.
  • Pearls from queen conch are rare and are highly collectible.
  • Conch pearls come in a variety of colors, though all can be called “pink pearls”
  • Conch shells can be made into all sorts of jewelry with a distinct pink hue.
  • Sharp conch shells have been used as weapons, as well as a form of security along the tops of outdoor walls.

Fish for Conch in the US Virgin Islands

Conch season opens in the US Virgin Islands October 1 and runs through June 30. The season is closed all summer, from July 1 through September 30 to facilitate breeding.

  • Minimum size 9″ shell length from spire to distal end, or 3/8″ lip thickness.
  • Must land whole in shell.
  • Limit 6 per day per recreational fisher, not to exceed 24 per boat per day in territorial waters
  • Limit 3 per day per fisher, not to exceed 12 per boat.
  • No use of hookah gear in federal waters, and 2 per fisher per day in National Park waters.

For questions regarding territorial regulations, contact the DPNR, Division of Environmental Enforcement in St. Thomas (340) 774-3320 ext. 5106.

For the most recent regulations for fishing in Federal waters, contact NOAA Fisheries Service at 727-824-5326 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

More on fishing around the territory here.

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