Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Conch, Queen

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Conch, Queen Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Conch Worldwide Wild

Queen Conch, Wild, Worldwide

This long-lived species matures late in life, making it vulnerable to fishing pressure.


Queen conch is a large marine snail native to the Caribbean basin. Its range in the U.S. encompasses the Florida Keys as well as the southeastern shore of the Florida peninsula. Queen conch is slow-moving and easy to pick up by hand or with the simplest fishing gear (known as poke poles). Conch is especially vulnerable to fishing during the spawning season, when they gather in large numbers to reproduce.

Both the commercial and recreational conch fisheries in Florida are closed due to overfishing. Unfortunately, conch has been slow to recover. Pollution and the loss of shallow, coastal habitat have added to the problem. Most other nations have not done stock assessments on queen conch and need to take basic steps to curb rampant illegal fishing. Only a few conch-exporting nations have adequate management but even these are not providing consistent, quality data about their conch populations. Until conch fisheries can be reliably managed and conch populations return to higher level, consumers should "Avoid" this species.

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