NASSAU, Bahamas -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States is expected to deliver a ruling on Monday on a petition by the environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) WildEarth Guardians for queen conch to be declared a “threatened” or “endangered” species under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Such a decision would, according to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), cause significant social and economic hardship for thousands of Caribbean fishermen, fish processors/exporters and their families, and undermine the peace and stability of certain coastal communities that rely on the queen conch resource, because it will effectively deprive them of their source of income and livelihoods.

Government representatives from The Bahamas, Jamaica, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and other CARICOM member states met this week in Nassau with representatives from the United States government to discuss a number of trade issues, including what to do about a potential ban on US imports of queen conch.

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