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Conch shells

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Moncton, Canada
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Conch shells

I love the conch shells and starfish that you see for sale along the coastal roads on Isla. Are you allowed to take them through customs in Canada or are they restricted?

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1. Re: Conch shells

i brought one once and had no problems. but - they're a lot heavier than you think!

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2. Re: Conch shells

We have brought them home, but they can be confiscated.

Pinehurst, North...
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3. Re: Conch shells

A couple with us last year brought home probably 6 or so. Some bought some we found. We did get pulled for a secondary search but they didn't take them . This was us customs.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Isla Mujeres
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4. Re: Conch shells

I won't buy any shells, starfish or anything else out of the ocean because despite their claims to the contrary I have personally seen vendors pulling live creatures out of the sea to sell, especially starfish. There is no way to know whether they are doing this legally or in a sustainable manner. By the same token, when I get dragged into a jewelry store I ask if they have any black coral, and if they do even my wife will walk out.

Devon, United...
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for Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
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5. Re: Conch shells

Conch shells are illegal to take home, once the xrays pick them up in checked-in or carry on luggage they will be confiscated unless you provide the authorities with special documentation.

Countries who are a member of CITES in the link below and as you see Mexico is on the list when you click on the 'List of Parties in Alphabetical Order '.


To comply with the legal requirements set by each country under the CITES agreement, importers and exporters - whether they are tourists or business people - need to present the appropriate CITES permit or declaration to the customs officials.

I guess you were just lucky getting your previous conch shell through security and the TSA agents didn't know the rules.


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6. Re: Conch shells

I thought I read somewhere, can't remember,maybe wentcostal blog? NO more selling shells, starfish etc. from the ocean on Isla, I think it will be against the law. Not sure. I remember back in the day getting the ferry and shells,starfish and bigfish were lined up for sale on the walkway.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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7. Re: Conch shells

That was a coupla stands shut down, and one of the fellows had his stuff confiscated...they were selling conch that was under ban, and one had no permit to vend. Then other people didn't open their stands for the next day or so. But I suspect things are back to normal...I don't make it down by Guadalupana or over to Sac Bajo by the tortugranja...it was at one of those two locations. I think that was a federal agency, making a visit. (Thanks for reading)

Harrisburg PA
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8. Re: Conch shells


We found a terrific conch shell not long after a hurricane a few years back, and, aside from the obvious weight factor, the customs folks did nothing more than admire it.

I guess it depends on their current state of mind.

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9. Re: Conch shells

I knew I had read something about the shells forgot where and what. I read so much sometimes it all runs together HA HA. WentCostal I thought I read something on your blog and now I remember. The shells are all over the place on the Island for sale when I was there a couple weeks ago..

Angelina52..... good info for everyone who wants to take shells home.

10. Re: Conch shells

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Removed on: 07 June 2014, 21:23