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Where do seashell stores get their shells?
05-01-2014, 05:27 PM,
Where do seashell stores get their shells?
I was curious in knowing if all the seashells you see in stores are killed for their shells?

Like how do they get all of the shells? Do they find them dead or alive? Are their people who farm them?

05-11-2014, 11:08 AM,
RE: Where do seashell stores get their shells?
Some mollusks are farmed, but not the ones with the most beautiful shells, which are of most interest to collectors.  Some mollusks are collected specifically for their shells, but many others are by-products of the fishing industry.  Either they come up in nets intended to catch fish, or in many cases they are collected specifically to be eaten, and their shells are then sold.  In many parts of the world, only a few species of mollusks are usually eaten.  But in other parts of the world, just about anything that comes out of the ocean may be eaten, and the shells then sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who sell them to collectors.  Live-taken shells are usually in the best condition.  Once the animal has died, and its shell has been rolled around in the ocean waves, buffeted by sand and rocks, then thrown up onto a beach where it fades in the sun, the shell is not of much interest to collectors.
01-11-2015, 07:43 AM,
RE: Where do seashell stores get their shells?
You didnt mention that its become such a large business and the poor people around the world do anything to stay alive. Thats why so many land and sea species are being taken to extinction. People poison and use dynamite and other blasting material to kill and stun gastropods. Everything else around is also killed. Divers now go deeper and farther to collect everything they can, taking the genetic material for the largest and most beautiful out of the population chain. Dealers have contacts all over the world to look for fishermen. They give them pennies then mark them up to larger dealers who sell through portal stores.
03-31-2015, 07:27 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-31-2015, 07:31 AM by david touitou.)
RE: Where do seashell stores get their shells?

Effectively, in some countries, shells (and also many kind of animals that can be sold like : fishes, urchins, starfish,...) are overcollected. Poison & Dynamite (and more) are used mainly in the Philippines to catch fishes. That is the bad power of any buisness and have to be controled by government. But things are changing, slow but it's changing and even fishermen have a better idea of what they to to their own living environment. It's always easy for us to give lessons to these populations but effectively if one would have to survive with family it's understandable that they will maybe not take care enough of living habitat.

Though, we are informed since we go to school and new generations more than ever but they are not. When worldwide local divers learn about habitat, they change thei way of collecting & fishing and may keep their job and habitat. Overcollecting for a local diver is not worse than drinving for thousands kms per year with a single car. It's just different. 
We have to realize that many countries (labelled as "developped countries"...) are responsible of dozens of atmospheric Nuclear launches (that we still can measure radioactivity worldwide !)... it's just so far from shell over collecting... (it's not a reason to over collect of course...).

And the fact that in the Philippines over-collecting have been done since years now, make the actual value of shells very low compared to their worldwide rarity... I personnally only collect shells that I can find. I am always surprised by the prices of shells... rare shells like Conus legatus, Conus pertusus, Conus bullatus,... are sent for a few dollars but I can say that they are really hard to catch usually...

Over-collecting is dangerous but nothing compared to the destruction of any habitat by human or nature.

We effectively all shall feel responsible,

06-08-2017, 07:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-08-2017, 09:04 AM by JackSullivan. Edit Reason: fix error )
RE: Where do seashell stores get their shells?
(05-11-2014, 11:08 AM)paul monfils Wrote: In many parts of the world, only a few species of mollusks are usually eaten.  But in other parts of the world, just about anything that comes out of the ocean may be eaten

The large fish-hunting cones have extremely toxic venoms associated with their mouth parts. Getting stung by a live one could mean a rather unpleasant demise from respiratory paralysis. I Googled 'deaths caused by eating cone snails' & came up blank. Like the natives who instinctively headed for high ground when the ocean first retreated during the sunami that devastated Phuket, there likely is a cultural heritage of knowledge about how to handle & properly prepare these critters. One of the larger fish-hunters could make a meal if handled in the right way. A little butter, a little garlic.... Mmmm... Tropical escargots.

On vacation in St. Martin some years ago a native caught a big conch & turned it into a souvenir by repeatedly throwing it onto the hard beach sand until the critter crawled out & died. I could have skipped that performance as I felt saddened by it.

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