I’ve had it in salad. I’ve had it in fritters. I’ve had it deep fried. I’ve had it in chowder. My daughter has even had it raw.
When I think of the Bahamas, I think of conch. But… there was a time when you might think of the Keys when you thought of conch. I have a vague recollection of my dad having a conch salad when I made my first trip to Florida around… oh… 1984. But, you won’t find conch for sale in the Keys these days.
From what I gather the Keys conch fishery collapsed in the mid 70’s and all commercial and recreational harvesting of conch was banned in 1985. To this day… 33 years later, the fishery still hasn’t recovered.
The Bahamas has shown signs of stress and it keeps getting more and more pressure heaped on it as the out islands gather conch to eat locally and to send to all those tourists in Nassau and export markets.
The whole show may only have 10-15 years according to a new study.
I can’t even imagine the impact a conch collapse would have economically on Bahamians. Something has to change and in this, I hope the Bahamians can learn from the mistakes of their Western neighbors.