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Lionfish Culinary Fusion

Lionfish, The need to manage a new invasive species and protect Mediterranean marine life.

We are delighted to sponsor the ‘Lionfish Culinary Fusion’ event on 29 July at Golden Bay Hotel in Larnaca. The event is organised to highlight the promotion of Lionfish as a culinary delight in the hotel industry of Larnaca and in the Cypriot market, as well as  the importance of the management program of this new invasive species of fish in the seas of Cyprus.

During the event a presentation of the progress of the marine management program RELIONMED will be given by the Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab, followed by a demonstration of the cleaning and preparation of Lionfish for culinary use.
Selected Larnaca hotel Chefs will prepare in imaginative ways Lionfish that will be caught from the marine protected area’s artificial
reefs in Larnaca (Elpida and LEF1 shipwrecks), which guests can then enjoy as fingerfood with a glass of Zambartas wine.

The Issue Explained

Lionfish have entered the Mediterranean sea in recent years from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal, proving to be a damaging foreign species, disrupting marine life. Cyprus is at the frontline of the invasion and through the EU funded REDLIONMED program, local action has been taken to manage the problem. Cullings are an effective way to reduce population and it would only make sense for the caught fish to end up at the dinner table.

Professor Hall-Spencer, marine biologist of the University of Plymouth, regards the ornamental species as the single biggest threat to the biodiversity of the South -East Mediterranean sea.

“I can’t overstate how serious a problem this is for the whole of the Mediterranean,” he said, emphasising the risk of habitat destruction and species extinction. “Lionfish are the most damaging invasive fish we have ever seen. If action isn’t taken there will be lasting environmental and economic damage.” […] “In these waters I think we may have missed the chance to eradicate them completely because they will spread as the seas warm,” Hall-Spencer said. But, he cautioned, “all is not lost. There is still time to control the population especially in marine-protected areas. And even better lionfish could be good business. In all of this there is a silver lining,” he joked. “As firm-fleshed fish they taste absolutely wonderful. There’s definitely a niche market to be had putting lionfish on dinner tables.” (Reference Article: The Guardian)

Culinary contribution & partners

Featured chefs
Panagiotis Papakostas – Golden Bay, Sotiris Siakalis – Sandy Beach, Loukas Loukas – Lordos Beach, Fanos Siafkos – Palm Beach, George Zorlakis – Radisson Blu, George Christofi – Sunhall

The event is co-hosted by The Larnaca Tourism Development and Promotion Company, the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, the Cyprus Chefs Association and the Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab – scientific coordinator of the RELIONMED research program funded by the EU LIFE program.


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