In a press release on June 9, the Belize Fisheries Department announces the closure of the 2020-2021 Conch Season at the close of business on June 18, 2021. This is necessary due to the realization of the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) Production Quota for the 2020-2021 Fishing Season, in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2021. Essentially, all conch fishing activities will cease until its next seasonal reopening, slated for October 1, 2021.
Restauranteurs and the Public are advised to use, consume and dispose of all Queen Conch meat in their possession on or before June 18, 2021. Any person or establishment found in possession of the Queen Conch meat after June 18, 2021, will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations. Any illegal fisheries activity can be reported to the Fisheries Department by calling telephone numbers: 224-4552 or 223-2623.
For those of you wondering, Conch is a tropical marine mollusk, and it is delicious. As one of the most significant sources of revenue in the fishing industry, the conch is a staple across Belize—absolutely irresistible in dishes like ceviche, fritters, curry, and soups. This seafood generates millions of dollars for Belize, and the season usually runs for its slate or until the conch quota set for that period has been met—whichever comes first.
Ensuring we can always enjoy conch in Belize, do not purchase or consume conch out of its season.