The Folks in Sarteneja Belize are benefiting from lionfish not only by eating them, but wearing lionfish as well.
As Juan Perez explains, the local fisherman began to hear about lionfish about 4 years ago. Sine then they now have an appreciation for the impact that a lionfish invasion can have on marine life as well as their economical effect on the fishing industry.
Fighting lionfish has become a national goal in Belize. Minelia Verde, a lionfish jeweler, explains that her husband is a fisherman an they depend on what is being fished. She goes on to say that liofish are eating everything and making lionfish jewelry is a good way to supplement the family income while helping control the lionfish invasion. She is part of the Belize Lionfish Jewelry Co-Op which makes lionfish jewelry from lionfish spines and fins to sell at stores and at public events across the country.
Lionfish are very venomous and must be handled safely. Blue Ventures taught the community how to capture, kill and consume lionfish safely. The lionfish jewelry business is an effective way to incentivize the continued capture of lionfish
Furthermore, a recent survey of lionfish populations in Belize has shown that the collective efforts are working. H/T YouTubeClips
Watch the following video that explains how Belize is controlling their lionfis invasion by making a market for them.
Lionfish are detrimental to our reefs. However, they have one thing against them … They taste great and folks are spreading the word. Many establishments can not get enough lionfish to serve their customers. So, our consumption of lionfish appears to be the best , if not the only solution available, as of now, to control their spread and subsequent destruction of our coral reef’s marine life.