Our goal was to contribute to the eradication of the invasive lionfish species, supporting the conservation of native reef fish stocks around Saint Lucia. To achieve this, we demonstrated the economic value of catching and selling lionfish by building supply-chain links between fishing co-operatives and tourist restaurants.
The rapid and devastating invasion of the lionfish in the Caribbean Sea is threatening the survival of coral reef systems, reducing native fish numbers by up to 80%¹. In Saint Lucia, lionfish populations are increasing, but consumption is low.
This is partly due to the misconception that the fish is poisonous and can’t be eaten (although the spines are venomous, with correct handling they can be easily and safely removed).