Thursday, 10 November 2016

Lionfish, Spice Girls and the Curacao Dive Task Force

A highly successful collaboration for Flavours of Curacao 2016.
(Not so great for the lionfish.)

The 2nd edition of Curacao's annual gastronomy event, “Flavors of Curaçao”, was a great success.

Superbly well organised and very well attended, 30 restaurants participated in this upscale culinary event, preparing delicious 'taster' portions of their signature dishes, so visitors could get a taste of everything on offer...

The CHATA Dive Task Force, comprised of Curaçao Tourist Board approved dive operators committed to quality, safety and sustainable tourism, used Flavors of Curacao as a platform to create awareness of lionfish - and showcase just how tasty they can be...
Crew from DTF members, Atlantis,Ocean Encounters,
Curious2Dive and The Dive Bus showing their support

The delicious lionfish burgers, offered by Spice Girls, went down extremely well - particularly with the members of some of the Curacao Dive Task Force dive centers...

... however, collecting the 'stock' of lionfish was no mean feat. 

The use of spears and spear guns is illegal in Curacao, in order to minimise impact of hunting on the reefs, and responsible dive centers restrict hunting to professional divers only. 

So for 'stock' for the lionfish burgers, a team of pro diver volunteers from CHATA Dive Task Force dive centers (including The Dive Bus's own Zoe, Nanne and Mark) removed 15kg of lionfish from Curacao's beautiful reefs, cleaned them and filleted them, one evening - after a regular day at work. Not a pleasant or easy job - many thanks to all who gave up their time to do it.

But my, how tasty those lionfish were - and what a great collaborative effort.

So - what's the big deal about lionfish?

According to, ecologists and the media define lionfish as "invasive" and are:

1) Voracious predators, eating native fish and crustaceans in large quantities, including ecologically and economically important species like grunts, snapper, nassau grouper, and cleaner shrimp

2) Not known to have any native predators

Equipped with venomous dorsal, ventral and anal spines, which deter predators and can cause painful wounds to humans

4) Capable of reproducing year-round with unique reproduction mechanisms not commonly found in native fishes (females can reproduce every 2-4 days!)

5) Relatively resistant to parasites, giving them another advantage over native species

6) Fast in their growth, able to outgrow native species with whom they compete for food and space

So make like the sticker:
Get one here

Better yet, do it in Curacao
at next year's Restaurant Week and Flavours of Curacao

(Before then also works.)

Because diving makes you hungry...

More about The Dive Bus:

The Dive Bus, Curacao

 #curacaorestaurantweek #flavoursofcuracao #lionfish #CuracaoDiveTaskForce #divebus