COA AND CONSERVATION
The Importance of Mollusks
COA members and the Conchologists of America strongly support
informed management and conservation policies for mollusks.
Without the health and diversity of molluscan populations all
over this earth our planet would be much the poorer. There are
many ways in which mollusks add to our lives that we would sadly
miss if our mollusks were allowed to be destroyed by carelessness.
- They are an important fishing
and packing industry; without them, a vast number of jobs
- They are a major part of our
diet: Many third world nations depend upon all manner of mollusks
for daily sustenance. In American cuisine, mussels, calamari
(octopus), squid, coquina, conch for steaks and fritters are
all considered epicurean delicacies, while in Europe, cockles
and winkles join that group. And in the western U.S., there
is the highly prized abalone! And just try to imagine clam
chowder, Coquilles St. Jacques or Oysters Rockefeller without
clams, scallops or oysters!
- Pearls would be a thing of
the past. Without oysters and fresh water mussels, where would
we get them? Even mother-of-pearl would vanish...it comes
from the shells of abalones, freshwater mussels and trochid
- One of our best defenses against
water pollution which could harm us would vanish...mollusks,
which are very sensitive to small amounts of pollution are
today major and dependable pollution monitors.
- Medicine would lose many of
its pharmaceuticals and medical research test animals; lost
too, for all time, would be future discoveries about these
- Manufacturing, like medicine,
would lose a vast laboratory of new compounds and materials,
present and future.
- The food chain in the ocean
would be greatly disrupted. Mollusks and their eggs and young
are a major source of food for most of the fish of the world.
- Even baiting your fish hook
(if indeed fish remain after mollusks are gone) would be a
different proposition without squid!
The amateur conchologist, would
lose a much-beloved hobby, both relaxing and intellectually
stimulating, because without mollusks, there would be no shell
collecting, no shell observation, no shell photography. Even
art and architecture would lose one of their prime sources of
It is for these reasons that the Conchologists
of America and its members believe that informed measures must
be taken to conserve and protect mollusks. Informed measures
are those that take into account the biology of mollusks, the
threats to their various habitats, their recuperative powers,
and the actual agents of their decline.