Skip to main content

Free Content Shell Middens as Indicators of Long-Term Distributional Pattern in Strombus Gigas, a Heavily Exploited Marine Gastropod

Download Article:
(PDF 84.59765625 kb)
Shell middens of the economically important gastropod Strombus gigas in the Exuma Sound system of the central Bahamas were located on the shores of islands near tidal inlets between the Exuma Sound and the Great Bahama Bank. The volume of shell middens was directly correlated (r = 0.944) with the abundance of juvenile conch in the shallow surrounding waters (log-log relationship). Radiocarbon dates for shells collected from the bottoms of large middens indicated that these shell accumulations reflect a history of fishing in the region dating back more than 400 yrs. The middens probably originated with the indigenous Lucayan population, then continued to accumulate through the European invasion of the Bahamas, the British Loyalist period, and up to the present date. The distribution of shell middens indicates that the eastern Sound never had an important conch fishery, corroborating the present day low abundance of conch in the area, and advection of queen conch larvae from east to west. High shell volumes in the northern Sound reflect large conch populations and larval retention in that region. Shell middens can yield important insights into human history, and useful information on the biogeography, ecology, and long-term fisheries of heavily exploited molluscan species such as S. gigas.

19 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-11-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more