Marine Expo Profile: Lionfish Task Force

April 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

In the sixth in a series of profiles of vendors who will be taking part in the St. George’s Marine Expo on Sunday, April 23rd, we spotlight Bermuda Lionfish Task Force.

Bermuda Lionfish Task Force April 2017

1. What is the name of your organization?

We are the Bermuda Lionfish Task Force.

2. What does your organization specialize in?

The Bermuda Lionfish Task Force is a mechanism to coordinate and focus the efforts of stakeholders and concerned citizens upon the implementation of all components within the Bermuda Lionfish Control Plan.

3. How long have you been in the Marine Industry?

We formed in October 2012.

4. How has your organization benefited from the Americas Cup?

We have partnered with the America’s Cup in a number of ways. First, several America’s Cup teams have taken part in the Bermuda Lionfish Culling Program to get their permit to hunt lionfish.

Second, three of our Lionfish Vendors [all of whom are also members of the Lionfish Mafia] have provided lionfish fillet for the 11th Hour Lionfish Throwdown. With that in mind, 11th Hour and Land Rover BAR have done a tremendous job helping us raise awareness of the invasive lionfish in Bermuda and abroad.

5. What advice would you give you an aspiring young entrepreneur?

Find your passion and stick to it. Don’t let anyone discourage you.

6. Why are you participating in the Marine Expo?

Our two biggest priorities in the fight against the lionfish are research and education, and the Expo is an incredible opportunity to teach the public about this invasive species and the potential impact it may have on Bermuda’s marine environment.

Further, the Task Force represents all stakeholders including fishermen, SCUBA divers and freedivers, government entities, research institutions, tourist and entertainment destinations, and the general public.

With that in mind, we provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life to contribute to the control and management of the invasive lionfish in Bermuda; the Expo provides us an opportunity to meet the public and get them involved.

7. Why is the Marine Expo a good thing for Bermuda?

The Expo is a great thing because it helps connect Bermudians to the ocean and introduces them to all of the groups working in or under the water. Lionfish Mafia is also running Bermuda’s first annual Spring Lionfish Tournament this weekend and that’s where the Expo’s lionfish fillet will come from.

So as I mentioned, the Task Force is being represented by the Lionfish Mafia at the Expo. The Lionfish Mafia is a group of friends, both freedivers and SCUBA divers, who are very enthusiastic lionfish hunters and who are very much dedicated to the fight against lionfish.

They also happen to be some of the most successful lionfish hunters we have. They have provided countless samples for my own lionfish research and a few of them are instructors for the Bermuda Lionfish Culling Porgram.

Further, three of them are certified Lionfish Vendors [of five in total], taking part in a pilot program in which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources allows them sell their lionfish to restaurants and markets.

If you’d like to hear more about the program, I invite you to contact Dr. Joanna Pitt at Fisheries, jpitt@gov.bm.

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The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation [BEDC], along with title sponsor RUBIS Energy Bermuda, will host the second annual St. George’s Marine Expo on Sunday, April 23 from 11.00am to 6.00pm.

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