November marked the opening of conch and whelk season in the Cayman Islands which is now in full swing and runs until the end of April. Shellfish-lovers can now help themselves to delicious queen conch and certain species of whelk legally from Cayman’s waters.
The Cayman Islands Department of Environment established this set season to help ensure a sustainable, recreational fishery for both of these species so they remain in our beautiful waters for many years to come. With that in mind, there are some rules to adhere to when you’re out and about catching conch, including limitations of five conch per person, or ten per boat, whichever is fewer.
You can find out more information on catching conch and whelks here.
One of our favourite ways to enjoy conch are these delicious conch fritters. You’ll also find these tasty bites on many of Cayman’s restaurant menus now they’re back in season.
1 quart oil for frying
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped conch meat
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Heat the oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
In a bowl, mix the flour, egg, and milk. Season with cayenne pepper, seasonings, salt, and pepper.
Mix in the conch meat, onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and enjoy!