Saturday 30 May, 2020

Five things you didn't know about conch

Queen conch is a marine snail indigenous to the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Locally, conch has been a staple for decades as a delicious treat eaten raw with lemon juice in salads, as ceviche, cooked in burgers, chowders, fritters, and chowders. But aside from its tasty properties, we bet you did not know the following fascinating facts about conch.

1. Conch, eaten in moderation, is very healthy. It is low in Saturated Fat, it is also a good source of Phosphorus, Copper, Protein, Vitamin E, Folate, Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Selenium. 

2. In Cayman, before the age of telecommunication, conch shells were used as a signalling horn by native fisherman to communicate with other boats and with villagers onshore. Elsewhere the conch shell was used as a horn in times of battle or at celebrations.

3. Cayman’s very first ever coat of arms, in 1957, bore a conch shell.

4. Conchs can live up to 30 years but the average lifespan is seven years.

5. In Cayman, abandoned conch shells are used by marine creatures, such as the cardinalfish and octopus, as protection from predators.

Open season for conch in Cayman officially begins on November 1 and runs until April 30. It is important to follow the marine conservation laws that protect conch because the species is highly vulnerable to overfishing.

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