A conch is a sort of edible snail that resides in the ocean, especially the hot waters of the Caribbean. Conch is actually a sort of mollusk that lives in a spiral shaped shell. They are known as marine gastropod mollusks. This is the most commonly recognized species of conch, particularly to tourists visiting the Caribbean.
These mollusks move along the ocean floor by propelling themselves with their muscle bodies, making it appear as if they are jumping. This jumping movement allows them to find food along the ocean floor. This movement is also valuable in concealing their scent trail from predators. Humans pose the largest threat to these mollusks, but they are also a tasty meal for other sea creatures such as lobsters, turtles, octopus, crabs, sharks and sting rays.
Conch is a natural resource and a significant source of income to many Caribbean countries. It has recently been recognized that conch has been over-fished and the quantities of conch have significantly decreased in past few decades. Consequently, conch has been placed on the commercially endangered species list, known as CITES or Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species. In actuality, conch cannot be harvested legally in america.
It’s not uncommon for a conch to live up to 25 years in captivity. A conch starts out as one of several hundred thousand small eggs hidden beneath the sand on the sea floor. They reach maturity at around 4 years old or at about 6 inches in length. Conch can reach an average length of 13 inches when they are fully grown.
One little known fact about conch is they have the capability to make pearls. Although is very rare, conch pearls come in various colors, just like pears from an oyster. The most common color of conch pearl is pink. Conch pearls are different from an oyster’s pearl because they have a slightly more iridescent shimmer.
Every part of the conch can be used, from the meat to the shell. The conch has many layers of colored shell inside and is renowned for its beauty. The shell is a very important resource for local tourist industry, as it could be crafted into many diverse items. Shells in the conch are usually made into Caribbean jewelry, such as cameos or necklaces. Of course, many tourists choose to just bring the untouched shell back to their homes as a reminder of the Caribbean vacation.
The meat from the conch is a staple food in the Bahamas. Conch is a favorite dish for many seafood lovers and can be prepared in several different ways. There are several dozen restaurants in the Bahamas that offer a variety of conch dishes. Conch meat is quite popular and is made into everything from chowders to burgers to salads and of course, the ever-popular conch fritter. Conch meat needs to be tenderized or marinated, as it’s very tough. The meat has a sweet taste, similar to that of a clam.