The ban on sea eggs will remain in effect this year.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey, says the current numbers are not high enough to warrant giving the green light for consumption again.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday after signing an agreement with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Humphrey said his Ministry has been monitoring the sea egg population and currently does not see any indication that a season this year can be supported.
“Every year, we do a survey to determine the stock, the maturity of the sea eggs [and] are they ready, are they not ready. This year, the science and the information are telling us that the sea eggs are too immature so there will be no lifting of the ban on sea eggs this year,” he explained.
“We did that last year. As a matter of fact, if you recall, at the beginning of the opening of the season the sea eggs were massive. Then near the end of the season, people were complaining that sea eggs were too small and that they were young, because they had already caught the major ones and had gone onto the small ones. So, this year we are not opening for sea egg fishing.”
When asked about what the Ministry was planning to do about the lionfish that are currently affecting the marine life on the island, Humphrey said locals have been helping control the numbers.
“The lionfish can be a very invasive species, in the sense that it can consume a lot more than we wish for it to consume…. Barbadians have found the lionfish to be a delicacy, and… I would wish to encourage them to catch and to consume the lionfish and help us in our conservation efforts,” the Minister added.