-no donations have been received in this period
-given that our lion fish strategy has taken this issue from its starting phase to communicate the arrival of Lion Fish to DR waters, giving out technical information and avoiding panic situations with local public, then develping monitoring tools to determine changes in population leves of lion fish, to then developing a local strategy, that follows the ICRI regional strategy, based on marketing and consumption of lion fish regularly. This has led to decrease (or control) of lion fish populations in most parts of DR, which was the goal of our strategy.
-Reef Check DR will terminate this global giving project, giving many thanks to all those who donated for this cause, helping to control lion fish populations in DR, and alliviating impacts to local marine fauna.
Controlling Lion Fish Population in the Caribbean
February – April 2013 Progress Report
During February and April, total donations received were $130, we thank donors for their support, and ask more people to contribute to what is being a real solution to the invasion of Lion Fish, results to date show a drastic decline in their population.
Reef Check trained volunteers and the Barracudas volunteer team have continued to conduct regular control dives in search for lionfish in La Caleta Marine Park. Also, La Caleta Fishermen Cooperative is regularly catching and selling lionfish to local restaurants to support the national strategy to include that invasive fish in local menus. They have obtained thousands of pesos in revenue to the sell of lionfish to restaurants, to the point of not providing enough products and having to buy from other locations for re-sell.
Another lionfish tournament was organized by Sea Savers DR, from Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo. 6 Teams entered the water in La Caleta Marine Park to get the most lionfish, the biggest lionfish, and the smallest lionfish, for a very good prize, and also enjoy with family and friends their catch. A great way to get people involved in the solution. More info on their work at: http://sea-savers.blogspot.com
Reef Check DR received a group of volunteers from Chicago (http://cr2chicago.weebly.com/index.html) to learn scuba diving, also how to determine the health of the reef using the reef check protocol, and to learn how to safely catch lion fish.
Aside from El Nacional supermarket, which is now selling lionfish regularly. Another chain is getting ready to launch the lionfish offer to the general public.
After El Vesubio Malecon restaurant joined efforts with Badui Restaurant, to have humans consume lionfish as a control measure, other restaurants are joining as well, La Boheme started with a delicious dish based on lionfish and mofongo, then Mitre, and Vesubio Tiradentes. At the end of this period, Asia Mia restaurant (newly opened) has lionfish all over their menu right form their start of operations.
For more information visit:
Reef Check trained volunteers and the Barracudas volunteer team have continued to conduct regular control dives in search for lionfish in La Caleta Marine Park. Also, La Caleta Fishermen Cooperative is regularly catching and selling lion fish to local restaurants to support the national strategy to include that invasive fish in local menus. Also, a local supermarket, El Nacinoal, is now selling lion fish regularly. (http://www.centrocuestanacional.com)
A gala dinner was held at El Vesuvio Malecón Restaurant (http://www.vesuvio.com.do) on December 6th. Guest were able to learn more about this invasive species, while enjoying good music and then get a taste of the fish itself in several gourmet dishes. T-shirts were made to be sold at the restaurant during the entire month. A second restaurant, La Boheme Bistrot (https://www.facebook.com/LaBohemeBistrot) joined forces with Reef Check DR, and included lionfish on the menu as well.
Next in line, will be two more restaurants in the Santo Domingo area.
Reef Check DR continues to undertake monthly Lion Fish control dives at the Submarine National Park, using trained volunteers and using the equipment purchased with the funds provided through Global Giving.
With combined efforts with the DR Ministry of Environment, and The Nature Conservancy, and the University of teh West Indies in Jamaica, and with funding from the United States agency for international development (USAID), a lion fish management and control workshop was held during August 2012 for over 25 local people, involving divers, GOs and NGOs staff. As part of this efforts, Reef Check DR did 5 lectures for fishermen about lion fish management and control in five locations on DR, Bayahibe, Sajona island, Sanchez, Samana and las Terrenas.
During the past months Reef Check DR, as part of the Lion Fish Initiative, worked in assisting the Carol Morgan School Students (a local American school) in organizing a lionfish derby (using adecuate sustainable fishing gear) at the National Submarine Park that is co-managed by the foundation. By supporting this kind of derby and involving high school students, many learned the details and the threats that the lionfish has posed in the Caribbean. Ten teams of two individuals were registered and prizes for the smallest, the biggest and the largest catches were awarded. After completing this event, as part of the learning experience, Dr. Ruben Torres, President for Reef Check Dominican Republic, aided in setting up a fish tank with two Lion Fish at Carol Morgan School in order to demonstrate invasive species effects. He has also been giving talks about this species in our waters at different grade levels.
In addition, Reef Check Dominican Republic was recognized at TASTE (Gastronomic Fair in Dominican Republic celebrated October 19th 2012) for our Lion Fish initiative achieving the introduction of this species into our gourmet cooking cuisine. Chefs and Media from all over the country participated in this event recognizing the efforts that we achieved with your assistance.
We encourage anyone who wants to keep our continued achievements on the lion fish initiative, which has led to localized control of this invasive species, specially in la Caleta National Marine Park. We hope we can continue these efforts with your kind donations, for more info, visit our website: www.reefcheckdr.org.
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