Oceana Belize held its annual general meeting over the weekend with some 200 of its members known as Wavemakers. The meeting was held on Saturday at the George Price Center in Belmopan. Janelle Chanona, the vice President for Oceana Belize told us more about it.
Janelle Chanona, Vice President, Oceana BZ: This is the 2015 annual General meeting of our wave makers, so Oceana invites members, volunteers, everyone to come out and support our work, and to be able to engage in a conversation about the management of natural resources in that regard. We have 100’s across the country and approximately 200 of them are here today from every district and we are using this as an opportunity to update them on where we are with our campaign as well to take about our field representative program results and basically network and we’ve also had our guest speaker Mr. Sean Kuylen, and he’s talking about all our wave makers, your friends, your families can support our initiatives to promote sustainable fishing and to consume seafood responsibly.
Since establishing an office in Belize in 2009, Oceana has piloted many campaigns in Belize including its largest campaign against offshore oil drilling. Another large campaign that Oceana has lead in Belize is the fight against the Lion fish, an invasive species of fish that continues to wreak havoc in Belize’s waters. Chef Sean Kuylen was a guest speaker at the Oceana’s meeting. He told us why restaurants all around the country should start adding this seafood to their menu.
Sean Kuylen, Chef: Well because it decreases the population. It is an invasive and predatory fish. The effect of the Lion Fish is destructive, so why not give the incentive to the fishermen through the chefs, and you at home to eat the fish, then we will catch the fish. So, it makes all the sense in the world to eat Lion Fish.
Reporter: Is there a market out there for it? Or is the market in the process of being developed?
Sean Kuylen, Chef: Yes there is a market however it is not where it’s suppose to be. I think they’re only 13 restaurants in the country that are serving Lion Fish. I’m from the South of the country and we have the sea and Placencia Hopkins and Dangriga, Punta Gorda, and I’ll tell you that Sartenia and up north, they’re leading, and I say that in truth because the Blue Venture group are doing the training up there so the fishermen from Sartenia they’re more skilled in the handling and catching of the fish. We need to have this training come down south now, then we could cover the whole country then we could go from 13 restaurants to 100% of the restaurants using Lion Fish.