You can’t visit Nassau Paradise Island without being introduced to conch. Whether you’re exploring our crystal clear waters, sitting down for an authentic Bahamian meal, or shopping for the perfect souvenir, conch is a staple of the Island. So, let’s take a closer look at this famous island feature.
WHAT IS CONCH?
Conch (pronounced “konk”) is a tropical marine mollusk found throughout the waters of The Bahamas. While there are many kinds of conch around the world, Queen conch is the most common in the region. The Queen conch is a soft-bodied edible sea snail with an external, spiral-shaped shell with a glossy pink or orange interior.
– Conchs are native to the coasts of the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.
– The conch’s main predators include loggerhead turtles, nurse sharks, other snail species, blue crabs, eagle rays, spiny lobsters, and other crustaceans.
– During the first year of life, conchs live under the sand during the day and come out to feed on the surface of the sand at night.
– Conchs are herbivores—they eat algae and other tiny marine plants.
– It may take a queen conch at least 5 years to reach maturity—growing up to a maximum of 12 inches long and 5 pounds.
– The adult conch has a large, solid and heavy shell, with knob-like spines on the shoulder, a flared thick, outer lip and characteristic pink/orange colored opening.
– The Queen conch is a long-living species, with an estimated lifespan up to 40 years.
– Conchs produce natural pearls in hues of white, brown, orange, and pink.
– Only grown conch should be caught.
– When you listen through a conch shell it’s not the sound of the ocean you hear but the sound of blood rushing through the veins in your head.
WHERE TO FIND CONCH IN PARADISE?