Jamaica Tackles its Lionfish Problem

Jamaica Tackles its Lionfish Problem

Excerpt taken from Caribbean Journal:

“The invasive Lionfish has spread across the Caribbean – from the Cayman Islands to Grenada.

The continued threat has led to some unusual solutions – like that of renowned Chef Michael Schwartz, whose eponymous restaurant in Grand Cayman has taken a culinary approach to combating the scourge.

Jamaica, too, is tackling the problem, with an unlikely alliance teaming up to do so — US Peace Corps, local fishers, and private Jamaica resorts like Bluefields Bay Villas are working together to see the fish’s reign come to an end.

“The lionfish is an invasive species, not native to the Caribbean. It has no local predators and its population has grown out of control,” said Patrick Marti, a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica as part of the Green Initiative Program. “They’re a voracious eater, and they’re having a devastating impact on fish populations.”

That message resonated with Andrew Moncure, general manager of Bluefields Bay Villas, whose Jamaican resort in Bluefields Bay overlooks the largest fish sanctuary in Jamaica.

“We’d seen the fish population decline in the ’80s, and we’d been financial supporters of the Bluefields Bay Fish Sanctuary, so when Patrick (Marti) approached us, we said we’d definitely help out,” Moncure said. “We want the fish population and the eco-system healthy and are naturally concerned about species protection.””

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