What do diving, food and jewelry have in common? Well, lionfish, of course!
Lionfish (Pterois) are predators native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These spiny beauties have few natural enemies as they have extremely venomous fin rays. In the 1990s, lionfish were introduced into the Atlantic Ocean and multiplied rapidly. The incredibly invasive lionfish are wreaking havoc throughout Caribbean and Atlantic waters. These voracious eaters will continue to eat regardless of whether they are hungry, decimating juvenile fish populations.
So what does this have to do with jewelry, food and diving?
Hamanasi has implemented a multi-pronged approach to minimize lionfish in Belize waters. First, we educate guests about how the invasive lionfish are not welcomed. During our Lionfish Spearfishing Adventure guests are instructed how to spearfish, cut fins and bag lionfish. Accompanied by a dive master they then test their skills at catching lionfish while scubadiving. Additionally, our dive team conducts periodic hunts to catch the fish. All caught fish are recorded with the information being sent to the Belize Fisheries.
After a successful lionfish hunt, the fish then are filleted and turned into delicious dishes by Hamanasi’s chefs. Some guest favorites include lionfish ceviche, pan seared lionfish and lionfish fingers. Try some next time they are served in our Singanga restaurant!
Finally, lionfish fins are made into beautiful jewelry, which is available in Hamanasi’s gift shop. Here you will find beautiful earrings, pendants and stunning necklaces handmade right here in Belize. They make a perfect gift or souvenir.
Guests love doing their part to help reduce Belize’s lionfish population. Hamanasi has caught over 12,000 lionfish since 2012. Together we are making a difference!