The Caicos Conch Farm is owned and operated by Trade Winds Industries Limited, (TWI) a Turks & Caicos Islands Registered Company, and has operated continuously on the Island of Providenciales (Provo) since 1984.
The Providenciales based conch farm, was developed with a vision of pioneering conch mariculture that would benefit the region by providing jobs, stimulating economic growth, supplying a low-cost source of protein and protecting wild conch stocks from exploitation.
The Caicos Conch Farm currently operates on 10 acres of company owned oceanfront property and 65 acres of sub-sea pasture under lease from the TCI Government for 97 more years. The property includes facilities for egg hatchery, metamorphosis, and post-larval stage development as well as 80 on shore grow-out ponds and in excess of 150 pens in the off-shore sub-sea pasture.
The Queen Conch, scientifically Strombus gigas, has been the staple of the Caribbean diet for at least a thousand years. Its meat provides a major source of protein for the region, while its shell had been used for tools, weapons, jewelry, ceremonial objects and as a construction material.
Over-fishing has depleted wild stocks of conch. Today it is listed as a commercially endangered species. Despite quotas on harvesting wild conch the remaining conch population continues to decline rapidly as over-fishing is continuing to occur.
The Caicos Conch Farm is now preparing to engage in a revolutionary and state-of-the-art form of environmentally conscious commercial fish farming referred to as off-shore deep water submerged cage farming.
Geodesic fish pens capable of growing 70 metric tons of warm water fin fish will be assembled, towed and anchored outside the barrier reef on the North side of Providenciales where deep water and steady currents will prevent the accumulation of any fish waste on the sea bottom.
Visitors can see four distinct species of warm water fin fish that are under development as brood-stock by TWI at the Conch Farm site. The species include Cobia, Pompano, Grouper and Snapper. Upon maturity, the fin fish brood-stock will be used to provide a steady supply of eggs to a new 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art conch & fin fish hatchery that will begin construction at the site in 2014.
As an addition to the Premium conch products that are now grown, harvested, processed and shipped at the Caicos Conch Farm site, TWI will soon grow, harvest, process and ship a select variety of warm water fin fish from the same location under the product name CAICOS CATCH.
Construction of a new 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art sea food processing facility is also expected to begin in 2014.
These are recent quotes on TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com) from visitors to the Caicos Conch Farm.
Reviewed August 26, 2013
"We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Conch Farm. It is the only conch farm in the world. Danver was a great tour guide and we got to meet Sally and Jerry and see the new fish that they are trying to get started to stock. It is small but truly educational and a great learning experience for all".
Reviewed July 28, 2013
"The conch farm is very interesting and cool to see. The tour was good but short. Definitely worth a stop"!
Reviewed July 28, 2013
"We stumbled upon this while driving around the island and loved the tour! We learned so much about Conch and conch farming. It gave us a whole new appreciation for the animal and the island. The tour guide was very very knowledgeable and super nice. We would recommended this tour for anyone visiting TCI"!
Reviewed July 6, 2013
"This was a great tour. Very interesting to see and hear about their hopes to produce conch and fish instead of depleting natural resources".
Ranked #29 of 47 activities in Providenciales by TripAdvisor"