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US DECISION PRESERVES CONCH EXPORT INDUSTRY

Providenciales, 5 Nov 2014 – A United States decision is being hailed as sparing the conch industry of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean from devastation.

Yesterday, the US Department of Commerce, concluded that the queen conch is not currently in danger of extinction, allowing the country to continue imports.

The US is the biggest importer of Caribbean conch.

In 2012, a US conservation non-government organisation, WildEarth Guardians, submitted a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service to list queen conch as threatened or endangered under the USA Endangered Species Act.

However, in their ruling, the US authorities say there is no threat of endangerment nor is there likely to be any within the foreseeable future.

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism says it’s pleased with the decision that will result in the region’s conch fishery remaining alive and well.

Executive director of the mechanism, Milton Haughton, says listing the conch as endangered would have resulted in significant dislocation, loss of jobs and economic harm to thousands of fishers and their families across the region that depend upon the queen conch.

He is also commending stakeholders across the region for providing scientific and resource management to assist the US in arriving at its decision.

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