Don’t confuse this large, warmwater gastropod with the East Coast whelk, also colloquially called conch. From the family Strombidae, the queen conch (pronounced “conk”) is found primarily in the Caribbean, where it uses a muscular foot to drag itself along the ocean floor. Once abundant, conch now is endangered, and commercial harvesting is banned in the United States. Major suppliers are Jamaica; Turks and Caicos Islands, which also exports farmed conch; Honduras; and the Dominican Republic. There’s an abundance of conch in the Bahamas, but it can be exported only as value-added products. Wild-caught conch is usually sold as frozen meat. Farming has made live and fresh product available. Whole, in-shell conchs range in size from 2 to 4 pounds. Both meat and shell are prized. When you buy conch meat, you get the foot. It is available at various degrees of cleaning (50, 85 and 100 percent cleaned of viscera), and prices vary accordingly.