From the 1st of July to the 31st of October the capture and marketing of conch (Strombus gigas, Lobatus gigas) is banned throughout the Dominican Republic’s territory (Law 307-04 and Decree 499-09, issued by President Leonel Fernandez on July 7, 2009). Violating this provision carries penalties that may include a fine of up to US$50,000 and from two to ten years in prison.
Due to over-fishing and a major decrease in the conch population, the ban was regionally adopted back in 2010 in order to preserve these species. July 1st through October 31st is the time that conch located in the Caribbean and Central America are reproducing, so the ban was purposely put in place to respect the conch breeding season. There is also the thought that, in addition to preserving the species, the ban helps to improve its quality for exports. This ensures that we can reset the conch population for sustainable marketing.
Since March 16, 2012 as per the Dominican Republic’s signing of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), the hunting of various conch species is now temporarily banned in the Dominican Republic until October 31st.
The ban includes the capture of the juvenile conch called “futay” and “cotorrón”, in addition to the snail species:
Scientific Name Common Name
|Charonia variegata ,||Snail fotuto|
|Cassis tuberosa||Mulo paw|
Burgao santa maría
The owners and administrators of supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, fishmongers and fishermen are urged to refrain from fishing, storing, acquiring or marketing this product during the specified closure period.
Likewise and as established in the aforementioned Decree, within a period that shall not exceed five working days from the date of entry into force of the established closure period, any natural or legal person who has a stock of lambí or live specimens in captivity, will be required to notify the Dominican Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA) , for inspection, verification, monitoring and control purposes. Said mass and / or live specimens declared must be consumed, marketed or discarded within 20 days after the ban has started, so that after this period, any existence detected will be considered illegal and seized.
It is not only illegal, but it is also what is ethically right! Those who break the ban will be subject to legal penalties and fines.
We ask for the cooperation of all on supporting the conch ban, which is very important for the ecological balance of our reef ecosystem. This time of year is essential to ensure the perpetuation of these crustaceans in the environment.