Chef José Andrés vs Cayman’s Lionfish

Chef José Andrés vs Cayman's Lionfish

SCUBA Diving Grand Cayman

The invasion of the red lionfish is most likely the worst man made ecological disaster we will ever witness. The Cayman Islands are battling the invasion one dinner plate at a time. With players like the Department of Environment and CULL, ”Cayman United Lionfish League” the island has a fighting chance against this invasive juggernaut.

During lionfish tournaments organized by CULL, fish are caught, measured, weighed, and then cooked and served to the public for free with the intention of raising awareness of this tasty invader.

On a recent trip to Grand Cayman, celebrity chef José Andrés teamed up with local dive operator Ambassador Divers and Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink Head Chef Thomas Tennant, to help raise awareness of the spiny invader. José was given instruction by the Ambassador team and then set out to help remove the tasty fish from the reef.

“I am a lucky boy because I was able to learn to scuba dive in the astonishing Cayman Islands,” says José. “For years, I have been invited to the Cayman Cookout, hosted by the Ritz-Carlton, Food & Wine magazine and the Cayman Islands Tourism office. Here I cook alongside my good friends Eric Ripert and Tony Bourdain, just to name a few. In between my paella classes on the beach, talks and book signings, I am in the water.”

José, and Thomas joined Jason Washington, owner of Ambassador Divers for the hunt. After a quick safety briefing, the team hit the water ready for action.

“We have to do this” explains Tennant. “Actively hunting for lionfish is crucial for the balance of the marine ecosystem and sustainability of our locally sourced fish. It also brings awareness to the public that may not know how much of a threat lionfish possess to Cayman’s dive, food, and tourism industries. “

Local camera guru Frans De Backer captured the all the action in the video below!

For more information on culling lionfish in the Cayman Islands check out CULL.KY

Explore the dive sites of the Cayman Islands with iDive!


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