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.