Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2012

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 83

Left to right: The take from the author's first lionfish hunt gives chefs Keith Griffin and Romeo Mascoe of Cayman's Guy Harvey Island Grill a new medium for their culinary artwork. The Caribbean is under assault by these fish dandies from the Pacific. They may look great in magazines with their striking colors and haughty manner, but here, they're game changers in the ecosystem. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, the dominant factor in society is change, and we must deal with the world not as it is, but as it will be. My trip to Grand Cayman, to Guy's backyard, is about changing the will-be's in life. Guy calls this fish "the greenest of the green fish to eat." And, for a man whose life has been devoted to many facets of marine life stewardship and understanding through science and art, his thoughts on the lionfish problem worryingly include the phrase, "an ecological catastrophe." Guy's answer to the problem? "We've got to turn them into a viable food product…and quickly." He tells me that his Bimini Big Game Club served up "hundreds" of lionfish dishes in the last month, and, "if there's any predator on the planet that could control this [eco- disaster], it's humans." And, I'm starting with me as a solution. Inspired by Guy, I'm hunting lionfish to cook at a "lionfish- smackdown" at the Guy Harvey Island Grill on the waterfront in Georgetown. I've gone from a passive viewer of marine life and leave-no-trace kind of diver to a single-minded blue warrior on a mission to save the world. Well, maybe not the world, but here's my plan: Hunt like a savage, eat like a caveman. Fortunately, after the hunt, three chefs await to take on whatever we catch. I've never eaten lionfish. Or hunted them. In fact, this is my first real foray into the world of blue water hunting. And, even as I'm slowly moving in on my quarry, I'm still thinking, it's just so lovely, and flow-y and wouldn't that make a good photo, instead of, I'm gonna get you sucka! I perform miserably at the moment of the kill, but luckily, the group I'm with is a bunch of seasoned—at least as seasoned as one could be—lionfish hunters, and they all come up with their catch-canisters full of these prickly marauders. After the hunt and the decompression stops are complete, we lay out the catch on the deck, and Steve Broadbelt, the co-owner of Ocean Frontiers on the east end of Grand Cayman, with whom we've been diving, looks at "our" haul with satisfaction. "We first started seeing them as juveniles about two years ago," says Steve," and now they're everywhere. So, now we actually have organized hunts, sanctioned by the Cayman Island Department of the Environment. I'd never have thought such a thing was possible here in Cayman, but these lionfish are really having an impact on the reefs. It could be quite devastating to our endemic marine life."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Guy Harvey Magazine - WIN 2012