Unique Things To Do In Turks and Caicos
When you’re looking for things to do in Turks and Caicos, turns out there’s more to experience than the world’s best beach and the delectable cuisine; like discovering where some of that incredible food comes from at the Conch Farm. Learn about the breeding process and how they protect these beautiful shellfish while (at the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump) you work up an appetite for conch fritters, conch stew, conch soft tacos, conch salad, conch wrap, conch chowder, conch pizza, conch penne, conch quesadillas and conch bruschetta.
The Conch Farm is the only place in the world where conch is commercially produced. Located on the isolated eastern end of the island, amid a flat and sunbaked terrain of scrub and sand, the Conch Farm is a genuine venture in eco-mariculture. Although it was first built as a research facility, the farm not only exports much of the conch consumed in the Florida Keys and Miami, but its breeding techniques could help save the conch from extinction. Its stated mission is to “help provide jobs, stimulate economic growth, supply a low-cost source of protein, and protect wild conch stocks from exploitation.” Conch has many natural predators — man is at the top of the list — and only a tiny percentage of hatched conch eggs survive in the wild, whereas 25% of the eggs survive here in this controlled environment. That’s protection for the shellfish as well as peace of mind for you as you dig into a tasty conch dish.
The Turks islanders staff gives visitors a short walking tour of the breeding basins — included is a tour of the hatchery and the laboratories, where more than two million conch reside in ponds in various stages of growth. They start out as itty-bitty microscopic bits that can live to be a whopping 20 years in captivity. The larger conchs are heavy and huge, with equally heavy and huge reproductive organs that aren’t so attractive considering the very raw nature of the animal. The tour is modest, but the passion for the cause is palpable. This is truly a hands-on enterprise: It is someone’s job to hand-feed food pellets to most of the young conch daily. A gift shop sells rare conch pearls, shell jewelry, and T-shirts. Pick yourself up a souvenir of one of the world’s most beautiful shells and have something to remember your amazing Caribbean vacation with My Turks and Caicos.
Admission Price: $10 adults, $5 children, $8pp for a group of 8 or more
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