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Queen Conch Stock Restoration Report - September 2001

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Queen Conch Restoration

Robert Glazer, Associate Research Scientist
Florida Marine Research Institute
South Florida Regional Laboratory
Marathon, Florida

Queen conch are found predominantly in south Florida from the Florida Keys to Key Biscayne. They once constituted significant commercial and recreational fisheries in Florida. In 1975, the commercial fishery was closed due to overfishing. In 1985, this ban was extended to the recreational fishery in state waters (Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 68b-16.003) and 1986 in contiguous federal waters for those aboard vessels registered in Florida (Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 68b-16.005). In 1986, the State of Florida began a research program designed to monitor the recovery of the conch stock and determine how best to rehabilitate the depleted population. The queen conch program has taken a community-based approach; most of the laboratory and field studies were conducted under partnerships involving the state, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and an extensive base of community volunteers.