Bahamas National Trust: Sustainability of the Queen Conch Fishery
The annual Conchservation Campaign report provides detailed information on the Campaign’s progress towards achieving the Campaign’s objectives.
Conchservation aims to improve sustainability of the Bahamian Queen Conch fishery. Several elements of the Campaign align with the ROC subtheme Communications as the Campaign is focused on building awareness on the threats to the fishery, fostering behavioral change and engaging fishermen, restaurants and policy makers. While the Campaign is making progress, it is slow due to the widespread population throughout the archipelago. Using an innovative approach to PSAs and building on the Campaign’s communication plan, a song and music video was created for the Campaign tiled “Conch Gone (Conchservation)”.
The Bahamas National Trust partnered with sixteen Bahamian artists, including Grammy award winner Rik Carey and Grammy nominated songwriter Anwar McDonald, to create an original song and music video for the Campaign. The musical is designed to galvanize the general public to support the proposed legislation change to protect juvenile Conch. Though the video itself is designed to be a call to action, at the end of the video, the call to action is to sign the petition. The video is complete and funding is requested to support airing the video on local television. The Waitt Foundation’s logo can be added to the video before it is aired and other Campaign paraphernalia.
The music video was launched in January 2017 through a partnership with Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd., HarbourFront Lounge and Sands Beer. The launch was featured in the local press and each artist shared the video through their social media networks. However, without broadcasting the video on national local television regularly the impact has been slow. The video has been played during community meetings and policy maker meetings. Increasing the video’s visibility will ensure more Bahamians will be encouraged to choose mature Conch and sign the petition. The petition is posted on BNT’s website, the Conchservation Facebook page, and hard copies were made available in the Island Administrator’s Offices throughout the country.
The Campaign is simultaneously training enforcement officers to measure lip thickness. Through a partnership with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, a marine environmental enforcement training manual is underway. The manual will help enforcement officers from different agencies understand all relevant policies and regulations.
The impact of the video will be monitored in several ways. The video is posted on YouTube which will help track total video views. After it is shared on Facebook, how long the video was played by viewers will be tracked. The local TV station will track how many households played the video.
Queen Conch is included in CITES Appendix II. By improving awareness locally of the current status of the fishery, the Campaign can continue to address the threats to the fishery locally. Due to the connectivity of the Caribbean region, addressing the threat locally will feed into regional management goals of the Conch fishery.