Lionfish Presentation

Evelyn Henville

It is with great concern for the entire marine ecosystem and the survival of our commercial fishing industry, that we note the increasing presence of the predatory lionfish in our local waters, posing a major threat to our marine life and our fishing industry.

For a number of years we have been experiencing a decline in our marine resources from irresponsible fishing practices and natural impacts, but the devastating effects that are occurring as a result of the lionfish invasion are particularly disturbing and we consider this of prime importance.

This voracious predator continues to undergo a population explosion, and their rapid reproduction requires putting systems in place to minimize impacts to the marine environment before it is too late. The nature of this problem requires a concerted national and regional response if a sustainable solution is to be found.

The NHCS just received a small grant from the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) to conduct an awareness programme on the Lionfish in our Community. To this end we will be conducting another presentation for key stakeholders, namely our policy makers, hoteliers, fisher folk, Government Departments, Chamber of Commerce, NASPA, dive shops, civil society, students and the general public. Our presentation will center on how we are presently affected, the History, Safety and Handling Procedures of this invasive species done by the Nevis Fishermen Cooperatives, Ltd., NASPA and the Dept. of Agriculture. As well, we will have Executive Chef Michael to demonstrate the preparation of the Lion Fish in a Ceviche dish to be sampled by participants.

This Lionfish Presentation is planned for Wednesday, December 3rd at 10am, at Gallows Bay on the concreted area where the fishermen sell their daily catch. You are cordially invited to attend this presentation and see how to add the lionfish to your menu, as eating it is the only way to decrease the population. Fishermen are catching this fish and throwing it back into the ocean and we want to stop that behaviour. Several of our hotels have had this fish on their menu and we would like to encourage more to participate.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Please contact the NHCS for more information 469-5786.

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