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Conch Shell in the carry-on #63250
07/27/2015 03:06 PM
07/27/2015 03:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 395
Southern tier of New York
ironmanps Offline OP
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ironmanps  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 395
Southern tier of New York
Departing the island on Thursday morning, and my Daughter gets pulled aside after the carry-on went through the scanner. The official has her bag, and says to her "open it" and she replies "why, what's wrong." He says "shell", she says, "yes, 1 Conch shell my husband bought at the market" he says "they can't be in your carry-on". She says "nobody told me, and I didn't see any sign or anything. It is my husband's only souvenir." He takes the shell, says "you should have checked it", turns and walks away with the shell. My son-in-law must have bargained with 10 different stands at both the Philipsburg and Marigot market and was so proud of the deal he struck and his shell. Lesson learned the hard way.

SXM Sponsors
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: ironmanps] #63251
07/27/2015 04:58 PM
07/27/2015 04:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,913
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Posts: 12,913
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I didn't realize a conch shell was so dangerous!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />Did he show her the material advising people of this? I have brought back a whole package of shells in carry-on with no problem. They seem to keep changing the rules; it is difficult to keep up.




Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: islandgem] #63252
07/27/2015 05:02 PM
07/27/2015 05:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,600
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 72,600
Central Florida!
I think actually it's not legal to bring a conch shell into the US at all. http://blog.snorkelingonline.com/warning-dont-bring-these-items-through-uscustoms/


Carol Hill
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: islandgem] #63253
07/27/2015 05:19 PM
07/27/2015 05:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,012
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,012
Maryland/DC Metro
Quote
islandgem said:
I didn't realize a conch shell was so dangerous!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />Did he show her the material advising people of this? I have brought back a whole package of shells in carry on


The danger is not FROM a conch, rather TO the conch population.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/...%3D/suggested/1
Queen conch is in the CITES list.

There is a glass display on the first level of the SXM airport near passport control (before you go upstairs) of items you cannot take. A conch is on one of the shelves.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: BeachKitten] #63254
07/27/2015 05:42 PM
07/27/2015 05:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,001
sebastian florida
silverfox82 Offline
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silverfox82  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,001
sebastian florida
Curious why the official said it was OK in checked baggage but not carry on sounds like bad info and wonder how many times that shell has been confiscated and resold.

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: ironmanps] #63255
07/27/2015 05:51 PM
07/27/2015 05:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
I understand the want and it's sad it was confiscated.

Many years ago, during one of our earliest tent camping trips I noted the following signage at a campground - "Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints" .....

I was quite surprised when we read and were told the same thing years later as we spent a post-Christmas vacation on St. John.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: silverfox82] #63256
07/27/2015 06:08 PM
07/27/2015 06:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Posts: 12,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
It sounds like the reason she should have checked it is that it might not have been caught that way. I'm thinking it's not the "danger" of the shell, but it's illegality that was the issue.

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: GaKaye] #63257
07/27/2015 06:49 PM
07/27/2015 06:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
J
JoeandLori Offline
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JoeandLori  Offline
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J
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
The couch shell is legal to bring in the US and to carry in checked baggage. There are signs in the airport, unfortunately, they are only going up to the security security level - a bit late. The reason they don't want the shell in your check in baggage is because it can be used as a weapon! Slip your hand into the shell, punch out and you can do a lot of damage to a person. How do I know - we had to give one up on our second visit and the security person told us. Fortunately, I live in Key West so we have plenty. Just wanted to add one from SXM!!!


Joe & Lori
Key West, FL
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: JoeandLori] #63258
07/27/2015 08:13 PM
07/27/2015 08:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
don't they sell conch shells at the airport curio shops?

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: ironmanps] #63259
07/27/2015 08:17 PM
07/27/2015 08:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 238
Toronto, Ontario
Kevin_B Offline
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Kevin_B  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 238
Toronto, Ontario
We had a similar experience a few years ago, but with a sight twist. We were all packed, dressed, and waiting for the taxi to pick us up at Club O. A friend walked over and gave us a conch as a souvenir. Since the suitcase was locked, I put it in the carryon without thinking. The lady at the security said "What's this", and said I couldn't take it. After some discussion, I asked to speak to her supervisor. Some more discussions, and I asked to speak to HER manager. Thus lady came out of the inner sanctum, took one look at the conch, and said "Nice souvenir. OK, just this one time. Don't do it again". I suppose the conch could have been used as a weapon . All's well that ends well.


Kevin
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: ironmanps] #63260
07/27/2015 09:16 PM
07/27/2015 09:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,522
Manhattan
W
weeks5051 Offline
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weeks5051  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,522
Manhattan
Think about it. The conch could be used as a weapon? So are dozens of items that you are allowed to carry in your carry on.
Many years ago my wife and I were in St. Eustatius scuba diving. The guide book mentioned a place on the island where conch fishermen would punch a small hole in the conch, push out the meat and throw the empty shell onto a pile of other conch shells. We drove to this place which was desolate and sure enough we saw 2 mountains of conch shells just there for the taking. We took maybe 3 or 4 of the best ones and brought them back with no problems. While this was pre 9/11 it was not pre hijacking.

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: ironmanps] #63261
07/27/2015 11:00 PM
07/27/2015 11:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 971
Winterset, Madison County, IA
madisoncty Offline
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madisoncty  Offline
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Posts: 971
Winterset, Madison County, IA
I can somewhat understand the shells, but we had a bag of sea glass taken a couple of years ago. Really unusual colors and nice pieces too. I figured the security woman that took it had a friend that made sea glass jewelry.


Mike & Dixie
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: madisoncty] #63262
07/28/2015 06:43 AM
07/28/2015 06:43 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,020
Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline
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o2bnsxm  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,020
Louisiana
Where do they draw the line on this?? It is getting to the point of being ridiculous with what could be used "As a weapon". Your keys, your belt with the buckle, your eyeglasses or sunglasses (sharpen the ear piece to a point). A bar of soap in a sock or a roll of coins in a sock- All can be used as a weapon, but they let those items on the plane in a carry-on.
I believe they are just using that as an excuse for confiscating the item for themselves. You should have taken the conch shell and walked over to the trash can, and broken it into pieces and threw it away. Then reply "OK, it's safe now".
It's sad, but just another example of how someone with a minimum wage job is using their "power" to control you. They were probably bullied when they were growing up, and are trying to get back at everyone now.

Last edited by o2bnsxm; 07/28/2015 06:46 AM.
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: o2bnsxm] #63263
07/28/2015 10:03 AM
07/28/2015 10:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
PreK176 Offline
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PreK176  Offline
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Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
I was always under the impression that shells, sand, etc was considered contraband as far as bringing it back to the US. I have never heard about the weapons reasoning.


[Linked Image]
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Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: PreK176] #63264
07/28/2015 11:04 AM
07/28/2015 11:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,059
Maine, USA
Chuck_Morton Offline
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Chuck_Morton  Offline
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Posts: 1,059
Maine, USA
Sounds suspiciously like a "Conch Shell Conspiracy" taking place on St. Maarten! Maybe the makings of a new book by T Selma.....

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: PreK176] #63265
07/28/2015 12:35 PM
07/28/2015 12:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,168
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Kathleen Offline
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Kathleen  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,168
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Uh oh! If bringing back sand is forbidden, we are in deep trouble! I can never get rid of the sand in my suitcases. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


That's why I wander and follow La Vie Dansante, that's all I want, La Vie Dansante (JB)
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: Kathleen] #63266
07/28/2015 12:53 PM
07/28/2015 12:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,600
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,600
Central Florida!
Yeah, I always have big problems with that myself! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: Carol_Hill] #63267
07/28/2015 07:02 PM
07/28/2015 07:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,039
missouri
Cathyg Offline
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Cathyg  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,039
missouri
Don't we all! Carol! lol

I have purchased conch shells in many places...including SXM. I have always put them in my checked bags and i have never had a problem.

You are not supposed to take anything from orient Bay....because it is protected...so i guess if you purchase a shell and have the receipt...what can they say about it?

The shops at the airport are located AFTER you pass through security by the way...and yes i have seen shells for sale in those shops.

So maybe you should wait to do your shell shopping at the airport.....and maybe that is exactly what they are trying to accomplish.

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: Cathyg] #63268
07/28/2015 08:14 PM
07/28/2015 08:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
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wilsonck  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
Importing Queen Conch shells from St. Maarten is allowed. From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, Queen Conch shells can only be imported from the following countries.

Quote
Countries from which import may be allowed include: Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda,
Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Jamaica,
Mexico, Montserrat, the Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, and Venezuela

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: wilsonck] #63269
07/28/2015 08:46 PM
07/28/2015 08:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,751
St. Maarten
Barbara Offline
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Barbara  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,751
St. Maarten
yes, but it is illegal to take them OUT of st maarten as far as I know. they are considered an a endangered species

http://www.naturefoundationsxm.org/education/queen_conch/about_the_queen_conch.htm

http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/queen-conch.html

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: wilsonck] #63270
07/28/2015 10:34 PM
07/28/2015 10:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,631
Oyster Pond St. Martin
S
soualigacapt Offline
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soualigacapt  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,631
Oyster Pond St. Martin
Quote
wilsonck said:
Importing Queen Conch shells from St. Maarten is allowed. From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, Queen Conch shells can only be imported from the following countries.

Quote
Countries from which import may be allowed include: Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda,
Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Jamaica,
Mexico, Montserrat, the Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, and Venezuela


Where is Sint Maarten on that list?

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: soualigacapt] #63271
07/28/2015 10:42 PM
07/28/2015 10:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
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wilsonck  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
Netherlands Antilles....I know...doesn't exist....but the rest of the world hasn't caught that yet. Even facebook geotags using Netherlands Antilles.

Re: Conch Shell in the carry-on [Re: wilsonck] #63272
07/29/2015 06:45 AM
07/29/2015 06:45 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,631
Oyster Pond St. Martin
S
soualigacapt Offline
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soualigacapt  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,631
Oyster Pond St. Martin
OK but please understand that the laws that were on the books under there Netherlands Antillies may not be the same for country Sint. Maarten. I don't know about shells but taking or killing conch is illegal on both sides of the island so I'm curious where these shells are coming from. 15 years ago, there were hardly any conch to be seen snorkeling or diving and since they have been protected there are lot's most and doing very well. Taking shells, dead or alive from the Natural Reserve which Orient bay is part of, is prohibited. You can find whole conch shells that have died naturally in the water off of La Samanna and as far as I know there is no problem taking those but be careful, something living inside may die and make an awful stench in your suitcase! LOL


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