provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum’s free online lecture series continues at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14 with “Saving the Queen of the Sea: Queen Conch Conservation Aquaculture.” The talk will be led by Megan Davis, Ph.D., Research Professor, Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Program at Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
Conservation aquaculture is the farming of fresh and saltwater plants and animals for restoration and food. Dr. Davis’s focus for the past 40 years has been aquaculture for the Queen Conch, a species of mollusk that is a cultural icon of Florida, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. They are known for their beautiful pink lipped shell and harvested as a fishery species for delicacies such as conch chowder, fritters, and salad.
The talk will explore the life cycle of the Queen Conch, the status of the Conch fishery, and how FAU Harbor Branch has joined with partners and communities to build and expand Queen Conch throughout the Caribbean for the sake of the species, the ecosystem, and the people who depend on the fishery for their livelihoods.
Dr. Davis has has led many team projects throughout the Caribbean and Florida, including 10 years in the Turks and Caicos Islands as co-founder and chief scientist for the world’s largest Queen Conch farm. Davis and her team work on Queen Conch restoration and conservation community partnership projects in Florida, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and other locations in the Caribbean.
See the Conch Aqua Culture website for more information and follow Dr. Davis on Instagram @queenconchlab for regular updates on the projects.
The 2022 online lecture series is made possible by a gift from Mark and Kathy Helge.
Registration required at ShellMuseum.org/lectures.