Case Study

Lionfish on the Menu

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.

Why

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).

 

Benefits

As a result of the project, fishers have been able to sell more lionfish than ever before – a 250% increase in volume of sales – which is a direct result of the project’s supply and demand related activities. Over the course of the year, their average weekly income from lionfish sales more than doubled.

If increased fishing continues, a decrease in lionfish populations should help numbers of native reef fish to recover, preserving the coral reefs on which Saint Lucian tourism depends.

Read the full case study for more information on the wider benefits of this project.

Lionfish

 

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-eating-lionfish-work/

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