Bahamian men believe the ‘pistol’ will increase their virility. Photography by Devi Sharp
Bahamian men believe the ‘pistol’ will increase their virility. Photography by Devi Sharp

A Conch by Any Name is Disappearing

The huge pile of conch shells that can be found on almost any eastern Caribbean island serve as a testamony of the importance of this large marine snail to the culture, ecomony and diet of the islands. Whether you call them conch (US and Bahamas), lambi (Eastern Caribbean), carrucho (Puerto Rico) or cambombia (Panama) these giant snails have been an important part of the history of the Caribbean. There are several species of conch, but the conch used for food is commonly called Queen Conch (Strombus gigas).

Queen conch can be found throughout the Caribbean, from Florida and the Eastern Caribbean islands into the southern Gulf of Mexico, and to the Orinoco River in Venezuela. Conch is usually found in sand, sea grass, coral rubble or algae areas and usually in depths less that 90ft.

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