Conch wars

In 1996 the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve off the south eastern coast of Mexico was declared to protect coral reefs and marine biodiversity, while also enabling fishing cooperatives to maintain their livelihoods based upon the sustainable extraction of lobster, conch, and scale-fish.

However, since the Reserve’s declaration, Mexican authorities have struggled to control marine harvesting in the reserve, especially the extraction of queen conch (Strombus gigas), leading to bitter resistance by local fishermen who employed a variety of tactics against the authorities.

What was seen in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve copies other research that demonstrates the forms of resistance to conservation that local people mobilise when confronted with conservation interventions.

Biosphere reserves link biodiversity conservation with development, primarily through sustainable resource use, and alternative, conservation-compatible economies in the buffer and transition zones outside the core area. Successful management should reduce pressure on natural resources within its core area as well as enable local communities to participate in the management of buffer zone resources in a sustainable manner.

Read the full article here:

Hoffman DM. Conch, Cooperatives, and Conflict: Conservation and Resistance in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve. Conservat Soc [serial online] 2014 [cited 2014 Oct 26];12:120-32. Available from:

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