A recent trip to Andros Island, Bahamas turned into an experience far more than sun, sand and snorkelling (which is what brought us there). We spoke with islanders that live off the land to feed their families who hunt crabs, fish, lobsters and conch unfortunately in an unsustainable way. After speaking with a fisherman who lost everything from hurricane Mathew in 2016 we learned that he is taking approximately 1,200 conch a week even though fishing regulations state that the general public is advised that the Queen Conch (conch) is considered to be an endangered species throughout much of its range within the wider Caribbean area, including The Bahamas and therefore a maximum of only 6 conch with a well-formed lip are allowed per person, and not more than 10 per vessel. He is not the only one taking these quantities. After briefly researching the amount of conch taken from the Bahamas I was blown away to find that it is legal to export 500,000 pounds of conch per annum. Not to mention the huge quantities which are consumed within The Bahamas each and every year and those illegally harvested by poachers.

Hundreds of Queen Conch shells lay empty after a harvest

The Red Bays locals harvest the ocean for fish and sponges and the land for straw, wild boars and land crabs.

A small harvest of land crabs that will be sold to local restaurants and families Shipwrecks along the beaches give shelter to fish and marine life A storm approaches Pleasant Harbour Cuban tree frogs are abundant. Andros Island, Bahamas Men diving for queen conch along the shoreline near Morgan’s Bluff Destruction and devastation from hurricane Mathew, 2016 Orb-weaver spider A fern grows from the wall of an abandoned home Abandoned homes and vehicles are not a rare sight on Andros. Evans Blue hole

Exploring caves near Evans Blue Hole Tracks left from a vultureExploring the unique landscape at Evans Blue Hole Charlie’s Blue Hole, Andros

New growth Beautiful pine forest in Blue Holes National Park

Low tide in Conch Sound