The Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors held a Bake and Fish Fundraising Sale on March 3rd, 2018 which included a variety of fish choices for supporting patrons but more importantly this fish sale had targeted that of the Lionfish which currently poses a threat to reef fish and coral reef communities.
The lionfish, known as voracious eaters, prey mainly on small fish and crustaceans. These Lionfish have the potential to reduce the abundance of ecologically important species such as parrotfish and other herbivorous fishes that keep seaweeds and macroalgae from overgrowing corals. Scientists advise that the lionfish may have the potential to act with other existing stressors, such as climate change, overfishing, and pollution, making them of particular concern for the health of Atlantic coral reefs.
Members of the Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors viewed the environmental threat being caused by the lionfish and decided to make a positive contribution to the cause. Every lionfish removed from the reef that was served at the Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors Bake & Fish Breakfast is a Lionfish that is not consuming our native baby groupers, snappers, lobsters and other vital commercial species. Lionfish have been confirmed to eat over 70 different types of our native species making them one of the greatest threats to marine biodiversity in the western Atlantic.
The Aqua Warriors along with the contributing help from multiple divers of Tobago and Frontier Divers Ltd set of on this community project to “Catch ‘em & Eat 'em to Beat 'em!". These lionfish which were caught to feed the supporting patrons of the Aqua Warriors Bake and Fish Sale was very much welcomed with much delight. One patron expressed how they never had lionfish previous to sale and that it was one of the tastiest fish they had ever ate. They also expressed how they felt like they have been missing out on this lionfish experience for far too long.
The Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors would like to say a special thank you to all the patrons who participated and supported the Aqua Warriors fundraising sale. A Special mention and Thank you must go out to Frontier Divers Ltd, Den Den Catering, Peter’s Fresh Fish, Visto Enterprises and Exquisite Local Drinks.