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Determine the feasibility and benefit of local production of value-added lionfish product(s) in Sarteneja for domestic and export markets

Supervisors: Jennifer Chapman (Belize)
Location: desk (UK) and/or desk/field (Belize)
Duration: 3-6 months

Invasive lionfish impede population growth of commercially important species, with devastating effects on marine ecosystem functioning. Currently, lionfish are considered one of the primary threats to Caribbean coral reefs.
To address this, the Belize Lionfish Management Plan recommends developing markets for lionfish, and removal through fishing, concomitantly providing an alternative target species for depleted and/or threatened native stocks.

Eighty percent of households in Sarteneja, the largest fishing community in Belize, are dependent upon commercial fishing for conch and lobster as their primary source of income. However, increasing numbers of fishers, a direct result of human population growth, has compounded the effect of resource scarcity. Fisheries must diversify to reduce pressure upon native stocks, and fishers are in need of an alternative target species.

A fledgling market for lionfish meat exists, though this only exploits the largest individuals and is not sufficient to impact upon the growth, expansion and impact of invasive lionfish on Belize’s reefs and fisheries.

The project explores the feasibility for a variety of potential value-added products, for both domestic and export markets, including products specifically designed to utilize smaller individual lionfish. It will therefore involve market and product-chain analysis, as  well as consider local context in terms of socioeconomic impact, as well as the availability of specific resources required for the development of each potential product line. Results will feed into the development of recommendations and framework for a lionfish value-added product line.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize