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Old 07-18-2019, 10:40 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 70,257
July 19th, 2019 : Conch

Being from up north Conch shells always fascinated me, you won’t find them on the shores of New England. My Grandmother had
one my Uncle living in Fort Lauderdale brought her but the shell probably came from further south. I always wondered how they
got the Conch out without damaging the shell.
The Florida Keys calls itself the Conch Republic but it's been illegal to take live Conch there for years.
As a matter of fact a Texas woman just got jail time for that.

TWO FISHERMEN FROM THE CORAL island of Anegada sit in a metal boat. They divest conch of their shells, limb by limb, tentacle by tentacle, until at last each holds a smooth, white mass of meat. When they finish, they toss the shells—shiny and polished pink by the sand—behind them, to join thousands of their departed brothers and sisters in a series of jagged dunes, towering a dozen feet above their heads.

In the British Virgin Islands, the humble conch, a type of sea snail, is rivaled only by lobster as the seafood of choice. Conch fritters—the rubbery, almost gamey-tasting meat chopped fine, breaded and deep-fried, and doused in a ketchup-mayo sauce—appear on the menu of virtually every restaurant serving up local cuisine, and in the galley kitchens of the hundreds of charter boats cruising the waters. The creature is a staple elsewhere in the Caribbean, too. But in the BVI, every conch on every dinner plate is harvested locally, mostly in the waters surrounding Anegada. Some say the piles of discarded conch shells reaching up from the seafloor and looming high out of the water could be one reason why the mollusks remain so plentiful here, after being overfished to the point of extinction elsewhere. But the shells don’t attract the living conch—they actually repel them.

As far back as the 13th century, fishermen would toss the empty shells down into the seabed, around 30 to 40 feet below. As the older shells sank into the sand, newer shells were tossed on top, keeping the height level. Over the next 800 years, the piles gradually evolved into one of the world’s most serene and beautiful garbage dumps.
This massive buildup of conch, according to Faulkner Lindsay, influenced the movements of the living conch. “The ones that are alive will start to move away from the empty shells,” he says. “So…we put all the shells in one place.” With the empty shells piled in one small area instead of scattered throughout the larger fishing grounds, the conch will think there’s no danger and remain comfortably dwelling in Anegada, instead of fleeing the island’s waters forever.
The water is far from “30 to 40 feet” deep in those pictures, so I guess that’s all shell fill. I wonder if they bored into the bottom
of the pile to retrieve shells hundreds of years old they could discover changes in the ocean chemistry around that area?

The four horsemen ~ Hahn, Azar, Redfield, & Trump.
xoxoxoBruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 06:23 AM   #2
still says videotape
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 26,160
I suspected none of this. Thanks for the info!
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:25 AM   #3
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They sell those for like $10 each in Florida gift shops.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:30 PM   #4
Diaphone Jim
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,898
Such huge piles of complicated and beautiful shells are certainly a loss in some regards.
They may be a useful tool in carbon sequestration, however.

Piggy and Ralph say conch to rhyme with launch and you can't force me to say it like a conk on the head.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:43 PM   #5
The future is unwritten
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So do I, in the privacy of my own head.
The four horsemen ~ Hahn, Azar, Redfield, & Trump.
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