A Code of Ethics for Collectors of Live Shells

As suggested by the Jacksonville Shell Club, 1964

I realize that mollusks are part of our precious natural wildlife and need the conscientious efforts of man to prevent extinction in the future. Therefore, in order to do my part, I will practice the following conservation rules:

  1. In order to preserve shell habitats and to keep all good areas from being "shelled out," I will replace to their former position all objects turned or moved back to look for shells. I will always leave every shelling spot as undisturbed as possible. I do realize that the balance of nature is delicate and everything depends upon other kinds of life for its existence.
  2. I will not collect live egg cases unless they are to be used for study and in that case I will take only small quantities.
  3. I will not take "baby" shells unless they are to be used for scientific study. I do understand that juvenile shells are not considered to be good specimens, have no value, and are not proper exchange material.
  4. I will not be guilty of "cleaning out a colony" of shells, or of collecting every living thing I find. I will take only the live shells needed for my collection and for exchanges at the time. I realize that shells lying in a closet cannot reproduce while I am waiting for a place to send them.
  5. I will not collect mollusks (the living shells) which are in bad condition, such as those with broken spires, badly chipped lips, bad growth flaws, or erosion. I realize that these poor specimens would not be fit to display at a shell show, would have no value, and could not be sent as exchange material. But if I leave these unlovely creatures they can propagate the species and produce progeny that are of choice quality. I will check my finds carefully for bad defects before leaving the collecting site and will replace in the water any that are not up to par.
  6. I will practice and promote these good conservation rules in every way possible to assure that further generations may still have the shells of mollusks, as well as other wildlife, to study and enjoy.