Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Travel


Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Over-fishing for conservation in the Cayman Islands
Published on June 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Comfort Suites Grand Cayman, which is franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc.,one of the world's leading hotel companies, is working to help preserve the Cayman Islands waters of invasive marine life.

Ridding the Cayman Islands waters of a voracious foreign fish species is one of the initiatives embraced by the resort, which is working closely with a local dive company.

"The lionfish was introduced to Cayman Islands waters and have wreaked havoc on our local fish population -- which has in turn damaged our coral reefs -- so we jumped at the opportunity to do something about it with our partners at Ambassador Divers," reported Tom Mason, general manager of the Comfort Suites resort on Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach.

Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach partnered with Ambassador Divers to support an innovative scheme, guided by the Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Board, to reduce the numbers of the voracious fish introduced from the Asia-Pacific region.

"People bought the lionfish for their aquariums and, when they saw how they devoured other fish in the tanks, dumped them into the ocean -- not knowing the species could produce 30,000 eggs every four days," said Jason Washington, owner of Ambassador Divers -- one of the premier dive shops in the Cayman Islands.

In an effort to cull the island waters of the killer fish, the Cayman United Lionfish League (CULL) launched a fishing tournament which is counter-intuitive to the norms of sustainable fishing. The aim of the tournament is to drastically reduce the lionfish population and, perhaps, eventually rid their waters of the species.

"We know this is not possible. We can only maintain our reef, much like someone cuts their grass, we can never completely rid our waters of this fish, but we can, through our culling efforts, help stem the tide," asserted Washington, whose dive shop is located at Comfort Suites Grand Cayman.

"Our lionfish tournament, held four times a year, awards prizes not only for the largest but also the smallest fish to ensure they don't breed as much," stated Washington who runs classes teaching tourists how to handle the predator fish which have venomous spikes covering their bodies.

The invasive species is not eaten by Caribbean predator fish so Washington looked ashore for a solution: "Fortunately it is quite a delicious species and we've shown the local restaurants how to appreciate its white, flaky flesh. Demand has outstripped our ability to supply -- so, we need more tourists to help us fish."

The Cayman Islands even got the celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, to appreciate the taste, thereby shining more international attention on the fight to restore indigenous fish stocks by catching, and eating, the lionfish.

"Without natural predators, the lionfish devoured local fish at an alarming rate -- and compounded their damage by also killing fish which cleaned and maintained our vulnerable coral reefs causing serious harm to our coral reef systems," lamented Washington.

"It's not often you have a chance to over-fish and we're hoping more of our guests take advantage of the very rare opportunity to actually over-fish for conservation," stated Mason.
 
Reads: 1411





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: