While we celebrate the end of the lobster ban, which officially ended on June 30th, we alert you to forego the purchase, sale, and consumption of the conch (lambí). From July 1st through the 31st of October, various species of conch, mainly the queen conch, while also including the mule foot conch, the Santa María conch, and numerous others, are now prohibited from being picked sold, purchased, or eaten in the Dominican Republic.
Over 30 years ago, at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), the country signed an agreement to protect many species from being captured during this period. It bans the sale and consumption of they’re allowed to reproduce. Since we live in the Caribbean and, for the most part, all enjoy seafood, we want to continue eating conch for years to come!
While the queen conch (strombus gigas L.) is a popular food source in the Dominican Republic and is, therefore, a common source of income for fishermen in the country’s eastern port towns, the government’s promise to uphold the CITES treaty and protect the environment has overtaken this worry. The regulations for lambí and associated species are supported by the Laws 64-00 and 307-04, created by the Dominican Council for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA), under Decree No. 499-09.
All supermarkets, restaurants, and fisheries are obliged by CODOPESCA (Dominican Council of Fishing and Aquaculture) to abstain from hunting, purchasing, selling, or serving these species and to report what they have in stock within the first ten business days of the start of the ban (July 10th). Once CODOPESCA has verified and reported what the restaurants have on inventory, they have 20 days to consume, sell or discard them. It is not only illegal, but it is also what is ethically correct! Those who break the ban will be subject to legal penalties and fines.
Many restaurants here in Casa de Campo obey this ban and have removed Conch from their menu! (HORRAY!) We hope that everyone assumes the level of commitment and responsibility to protecting Conch. However, businesses are not the only ones with the power to make a difference — You can too! By abstaining from ordering, purchasing, or eating conchs in establishments that are breaking the closed season ban, you are helping our marine ecosystems reproduce.
Various fishermen are shifting their focus towards other, more abundant species found in the Caribbean Sea, for instance, lobster, which are also very profitable, whose seasonal ban has now ended. Some, however, seem to refuse to do so, something which will result in legal penalties and fines. To report this activity so that the wrongdoers may be brought to justice, call the Dominican Environmental Police at (809) 200 – 2707.
So while we celebrate the end of the ban on lobster (woohoo!), we must forego indulging our craving for conch!
When: July 1st until the 31st of October
What: Various species of conch, mainly the queen conch, while also including the mulefoot conch, the Santa María conch, and various others are now prohibited from being hunted in the Dominican Republic. No consumption or marketing of Conch.