BNT Premiers Short Film “Conchious Movement” Highlighting Plight of Endangered Queen Conch
June 23, 2022 – Nassau, The Bahamas
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) recently premiered their short documentary called “Conchious Movement” in front of an audience of special guests at the Rand Nature Centre over the weekend.
“Conchious Movement” is an environmental documentary highlighting the plight of the beloved Bahamian Queen Conch; and the recent efforts undertaken by the BNT and others to try to save this precious resource. The film was produced by Lavado Stubbs of Conch Boy Films and BNT Science Officer Jewel Thompson-Beneby. In particular, it follows work being done under the Community-based Conch Management Project, or “IDB Conch,” in the Grand Bahama fishing communities of McClean’s Town and Sweeting’s Cay.
Financed by the Japan Special Fund for Poverty Reduction through the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Conch engaged members of these communities by surveying their specific needs, teaching them about sustainable fishing techniques, and helping them create alternative sources of revenue using the conch as a resource. It involved a fishermen’s exchange trip to Puerto Rico, where participants got to learn from a group that has already saved their conch industry utilizing sustainable practices; and the creation of the first conch ranch in East Grand Bahama. All of this, as well as the stories of some of these local fishers, is captured in “Conchious Movement.”
BNT Executive Director Eric Carey said, “‘Conchious Movement’ tells the story of something that is so Bahamian – a resource so vast it is inexhaustible, or so we’d like to think. And yet today, almost anyone can tell you – conch is seriously in trouble.”
“Conchious Movement” is not the BNT’s first attempt to bring awareness to the plight of the Queen Conch and what must be done to save it from extinction. In 2013, the organization launched their “Conchservation” campaign for this same purpose. It featured a series of infomercials and other media, including a music video called “Conch Gone,” produced in collaboration with several partners, sponsors, and many talented Bahamian artists.
Conch is integral to the Bahamian cultural identity and way of life, which makes the depletion of this natural resource all the more devastating. Threatened by high demand and overfishing, we must all work together to save this iconic creature before it’s too late. “Conchious Movement” highlights this need for preservation and offers a glimmer of hope for the future of the species, if everyone acts now and plays their part.
BNT Science Officer and Project Manager Jewel Thompson-Beneby said, “The reason we’re so concerned about conch is not just about the economics or the environmental aspect, but it’s the historical connection we have with this emblematic species. It’s very important to us all. When we look on the coat of arms – there it is. When we look at symbols – there it is. We see the conch throughout The Bahamas. It’s something we connect with.
“Although we focused a lot on conch ranching in this documentary, this film can’t capture all that we’ve done over the years. That’s just one part of the process, and a conch farm isn’t a catch-all. We also have to focus on marine protected areas and effective management as well. The work of creating a ‘conchious’ Bahamas will take more education of youth, more enforcement from our resource managers, and ultimately the participation of every Bahamian to see the value of our resources and work to protect them. We know this is possible through empowering people.”
Thompson-Beneby said the next step in the IDB Conch project is to conduct training and workshops to provide opportunities to its participants who expressed interest in learning alternative ways to use conch as a resource as well as ways to boost ecotourism on the island.
“There are opportunities within our reach, and we would like to present them to members of the communities to empower them, so they take what they’ve learned back and make a more ‘conchious’ Bahamas.”
The “Conchious Movement” will be screened in New Providence in July, 2022 before being released online.
Media Contact: Leah Carr | email@example.com | (242) 429-7902
About the BNT:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 32 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.