Getting to know “Lambí”
Its scientific name is “Strombus gigas”, but in Dominican Republic is known as its popular name, “Lambí”. This mollusk is not only around “Hispaniola Island”, but also in the United States and Central America. It is one of the seven species of the “Strombidae” that is located in the western Atlantic Ocean.
Also known as Queen Snail of the Caribbean has acquired many different names depending on the location where it is found. In Venezuela, it is known “Botuto”; in Panama, Cambomdia; in Costa Rica, “Cambute” and in Honduras for instance it is called “Giant Snail”.
The “Taínos” Indigenous used this mollusk to make knives, axes and other domestic-use products. People usually eat its uncooked meat straight out of the shell. This custom has been around for many years, and become part of the local gastronomy.
Dominican Republic was second behind Honduras as the main Lambí exporters in the world located in Central America and the Caribbean. The United States consumes 72.6% of the world production. However, the excessive fishing activity and exportation from the countries mentioned above have been prohibited by the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The main purpose of this organization is to look out the international trade of endangered animals and reduce the menace of such species.
The battle between businesses and this organization is to regulate its commercialization which is quiet daunting. In 1992, the United States asked CITES to include “Strombus gigas” in its Appendix II. In June 1999, it was finally accepted in that category of protection, which also contains some regulations, quotes of capture and specifications of some sub-species.
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Tags: Fauna and Flora