StewardFish: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Queen Conch Value Chain Analysis Report
The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), which previously had declining landings, is now showing rapidly increasing landings and associated exports from 2017 to 2019. This is largely due to increased market access with direct airlift to Miami, as the new Argyle International Airport was opened in 2017. Demand for fresh or frozen conch is low among locals, even though food items such as samosas, conch fritters, and conch and callaloo are available and even exported in small quantities. The ex-vessel prices are showing an overall decline. This is occurring even as the unit export value for conch increased significantly from 2017. This suggests that exporters are receiving an increasing share of the consumer dollar, and that fishers are getting a shrinking share of the foreign consumer dollar. Queen Conch is primarily consumed by tourists locally, as it is relatively more expensive than fish, which is in high demand by locals. The potential for market growth locally will therefore be heavily dependent on conch fishers strengthening links with these buyers to ensure that conch dishes are prominent on their menus. This market potential is also based on tourism growth in St. Vincent. The Fisheries Division provided Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) training to local producers of conch valueadded products (e.g. fritters, samosas), however, government does not provide any direct financial or other support to these processors.