I have written a lot recently about ocean and species conservation, from global to local concerns. One issue that fits both categories is the rapid expansion of lionfish in the Caribbean and the Atlantic. These fish, which have no natural predators, have recently been found in Italy getting ever closer to British shores.
They have no natural predators, and a single lionfish can spawn around 30-40,000 eggs every five days and consume 20 fish in 30 minutes. I have spotted many lionfish while diving, and seen the huge problems they are causing in the world’s oceans.
As an entrepreneur, I like to see problems as opportunities. With that in mind, I love the idea of turning these invasive species into a sustainable food source. So it was great to see Chris Kenny, who leads our wonderful team as Necker Island Head Chef, represent us and Land Rover BAR at the #EatLionfish Chefs' Throwdown.
Chris joined celebrity chefs at 11th Hour Racing’s event at the National Museum of Bermuda to highlight leadership in sustainable fishing practices ahead of Earth Day tomorrow. It also brought together all the teams competing in the 35th America's Cup - Each of the six nations in the competition were represented by a top chef vying to create the best lionfish dish.
My friend Sir Ben Ainslie was eager for Chris to win for Necker Island and his Land Rover BAR team. As I found out while sailing with them last year, they’re a competitive bunch, but we are too – I very much hoped Chris could win the contest (no pressure!)
Having eaten plenty of Chris’ meals, it was no surprise his lionfish recipe won the competition. Who knew traditional British fish and chips could be so unique? He was awarded a prize of $10,000, to be donated to the 1851 Trust, Official Charity of Land Rover BAR, and another $10,000 will go to Unite BVI.
As Ben said, hopefully everyone will go away and spread the word that lionfish is delicious to eat. By doing so, we can all help to protect the ocean and promote sustainable fishing. I’m looking forward to my next lionfish meal, and to cheering on the Land Rover BAR team in the America’s Cup too.