My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: National Lionfish Project reaps 66% reduction as NEPA's MTIASIC suggests Commercial Lionfish Farming

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Lionfish Project reaps 66% reduction as NEPA's MTIASIC suggests Commercial Lionfish Farming

The Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are now on the retreat thanks to the work of NEPA’s (National Environment and Planning Agency) MTIASIC (Mitigating the Threat of Invasive Alien Species in the Insular Caribbean) which after four years is reaping success as stated in “NEPA reports big drop in lionfish sightings”, published Wednesday, April 16, 2014, The Jamaica Observer

This assessment was made by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill at a closing out ceremony for the MTIASIC project, more popularly known as the National Lionfish Project that was held at the Pollyanna Hotel in Kingston on Friday April 11th 2014 as stated in “Lionfish population down”, published Saturday, April 12, 2014 4:46 PM, The Jamaica Observer.

At 66%, that a dramatic rate of success that's as simple as hunting the invasive species of fish that eats other young fish and ...well…..eating them. Escapees from the protected pond environment in Florida during a Hurricane back in 1992, they quickly made the Caribbean their home in 2006, with populations reaching as high as 250 Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) per hectare.

That 66% since MTIASIC began its work in 2009 translates to 80 Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) per hectare, mainly thanks to the National Lionfish Project PR (Public Relations) campaign literally getting Jamaicans to consume the butterfish-tasting Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans), after having removed their poisonous fins or course.

But is there commercial value for the Fast Food Industry in farming the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)? I did an article suggesting they’d be a big hit as a Fast Food Delicacy as Jamaicans were showing an interest in consuming them in that setting as explained in my blog article entitled Rainforest Seafoods vs the Lionfish - KFC iTwist in Yendi Phillip's Emerald Forest”.

Red Lionfish are Commercially Viable – Lionfish are the Cattle of the Aquaculture Farming World

However, their numbers being reduced, they're no longer commercially viable in that sense as far as Rainforest Seafoods was concerned. However, an enterprising Fish Farmer can grow the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) commercially in a Fish Pond, as their very fast rate of growth in the Wild suggests that they are efficient converters of protein into body mass, excellent for Commercial Fish Farming.

Thus Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) weighting several pounds is possible in a matter of weeks. That enterprising Fish Farmer can grow them very quickly and resell them to restaurants and Agro-Packaging companies such as Best Dressed and CPL to be gutted and vacuum sealed and sold to Jamaicans and exported abroad as explained in my blog article entitledCB Group's Safe Food Movement Vacuum Sealed Tray-less Meats - Trend toward Vacuum Sealing in Jamaica to stretch Food Budget and reduce Refrigeration”.

Just like Rabbit Farming, it’s just for one person to start the venture of growing the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) and introduce it to others, as was the case with Marcus Garvey Technical High School planning to help other schools with the rearing of Rabbits in the St. Anns Area and elsewhere as explained in  my blog article entitled Marcus Garvey Technical High School Rabbit Rearing Program - How the St. Ann School is teaching Teenagers and Millenials about Modern Farming Techniques”.

Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are carnivorous by nature, making feeding them a matter of having a secondary pond to grow the fish and other marine life that are then let into their area for feeding time. Thus commercial weights of 2lb to 5lb for the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) may be achievable within 2 to 3 weeks or less, making them ready sale to Restaurants and eventually the Fast Food Restaurants that want a regular supply of the rare yet poisonous delicacy!

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