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Report 2048: The Beautiful Turks and Caicos

By Linda Hagstrom from USA, Spring 2013

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Page 6 of 6: The Conch Farm

photo by Linda

Erik holds a live conch

We spent close to an hour at The Conch Farm one afternoon, and it was very interesting. You pay for a tour, and our guide worked at the farm to help develop alternative seafood crops.

The Conch Farm was started over 20 years ago to help ease the pressure on the conch that are gathered from the sea. The farm has suffered some hurricane damage, and it appeared that it is struggling. Still, we enjoyed our visit.

Our guide started by showing us a display of the eggs and then of the conch shells at various ages. It takes two years to raise a conch to the point where the meat is worth taking. To get a pretty shell, the conch has to get much older, but the shells are so numerous that we saw piles all around and the farm is researching uses for the shells. They just discard them now.

We want on to see the various tanks in which they are being raised. The farm is also working on farming fish, which is just getting underway. They have mature female and male conchs (Sally and Jerry) and our guide picked them up. After a while, the animals came partly out of their shells, and he showed us the various parts of the animals.

The farm exports all the conch meat it produces, to avoid competing with the local conch hunters. Also, it costs about twice as much for the farm to produce a conch as the going rate for conch taken from the sea.

Near this farm is a beach where it is very windy and we spent a while watching the kite-surfers there. The water is a gorgeous green and quite calm despite the wind. The island has opportunities for many different water sports: tubing, sailing, kayaking, catamarans, jet skis, scuba, fishing, and many other activities.


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