Have you been to the movies recently? If you have, you might have seen an animated educational short about the threat of the Lionfish. The entire cinema laughed because the narrator was dramatically comedic, however, this is serious business.
Since 2010, the Institute of Marine Affairs has been warning the public about the danger of this predator. This small and beautiful fish is an unassuming pest that is hazardous to our coral reefs and commercial fishing. They greedily consume more than half their body size and they are indiscriminate to the type of species they eat. They have no natural predators here in the Caribbean leaving them to feed freely.
In short, this fish is disrupting the natural balance of man and sea in the Caribbean region. Unchecked, it can negatively impact our country’s biodiversity as well as the livelihood of many persons in our society. So what’s the solution?
As the video above details, we should hunt it, kill it and eat it. Yep, it’s that simple.
Hunting the Lionfish
The Tobago House of Assembly in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Affairs hosted the Tobago Lionfish Derby in 2014. This year, Bananaquit Apartments in Tobago is hosting the Tobago Lionfish Series II from 26th – 28th January 2018. Events like these benefit our diving tourism industry in an environmentally friendly way as it allows for both scuba and free marine divers, as well as, fishermen to come out in their numbers to hunt and kill the fish freely and safely whilst enjoying friendly competition in the clear blue waters of Tobago.
Eating the Lionfish
There are a number of delicious recipes such as Lionfish Tenders, Lionfish Tempura and Lionfish with Coconut Cream Sauce to name a few, that transform this gluttonous fish into visually and tastefully appealing delectable dishes you have to try. You can even order The Lionfish Cookbook at an affordable price to vary your choices of Lionfish dishes. If diving and fishing is not your strength, the Lion’s Den Seafood in Couva Trinidad currently supplies this invasive fish, caught in the waters of Tobago. Other restaurants like Jaffa at the Oval have also had Lionfish on their menu in the past. We’re not sure why other restaurants have not capitalised on this economical and environmentally smart venture yet, but, the IMA encourages all of us to boldly request Lionfish at every restaurant in T&T, in a drive to have it as common as Carite in all our local menus. After all, could there be a greener dish to eat right now? We think not! So hunt it, kill it, eat it and feel great about it