Summer interns from the University of the Virgin Islands recently counted protected whelks along the St. Croix coast in an effort to better understand the health of the species — which is a beloved part of local cuisine for many Virgin Islanders.

Samuel Gittens Jr. and Nicholas Durgadeen, both 20-year-old marine biology students, re-created part of a study done in the early 2000s that looked at locations in the East End Marine Park on St. Croix.

— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email scarlson@dailynews.vi.