The Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee along with Grenadines Dive, is preparing for their first lionfish tour of the Grenadines, which runs from tomorrow to Thursday.
The event will include working with dive shop operators, fishermen, chefs, residents and visitors on Bequia, Mustique and Canouan to battle the lionfish invasion in the nation’s waters.
On each island, there will be workshops on how to safely handle and cook lionfish, along with lionfish tasting events. “Grenadines Dive is delighted to partner with the Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee to preserve and enhance the marine biodiversity in the waters surrounding our Grenadines islands,” said environmentalist and dive shop owner Glenroy Adams.
“Mayreau has been doing a great job battling the lionfish invasion since lionfish were first spotted in the Tobago Cays Marine Park in early 2012. Things are taking off on Union Island, too, and now it’s time to build capacity to manage the population of these voracious and venomous predators on the other Grenadine islands,” he said.
On Monday, the group will travel to Bequia to conduct a free workshop on safe handling of lionfish at the Paget Farm community centre at 4 p.m. and providing free samples of lionfish pizza at Mac’s (Port Elizabeth) at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, they’ll be doing a lionfish hunt with Dive Bequia and Bequia Dive Adventures during the day, then having a free lionfish BBQ at Dufton Ollivierre’s in Paget Farm at 6:30 p.m. Then on Wednesday, the group will travel to Mustique and conduct a workshop at 11:30 a.m., a lionfish hunt and a 5 p.m. lionfish BBQ at the fishing village.
On Thursday, the last day of the tour, they will be on Canouan, where they’ll repeat the events at the sailing club before returning to Mayreau and Union Island.
“In early 2012, we recognized that our livelihoods here on Mayreau, which are dependent on fishing and tourism, were threatened by this invasion,” said Claude Alexander, president of the Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee.
“At that time, we challenged other Grenadines to join us in the war on lionfish and we’re repeating that challenge now. Together, we can save our native fish and reefs by keeping the lionfish invasion in check, and have some delicious meals as a bonus!”
The Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee held their first lionfish derby on April 26, 2012 and has held annual derbies, regular lionfish hunts with Grenadines Dive, written and performed an educational play, done school presentations, and among other things, worked with the Tobago Cays Marine Park to organize the first-ever Union Island Lionfish Derby.