BATI BLEKI BUZZ, December 1st, 2015

SUNDAY’S LIONFISH EVENT. Mission Accomplished!  According to organizers, we created lots more awareness, raised funds, consumed large amounts of tasty Lionfish and drank a lot of wine, by Romar Trading! The party on Sunday evening at Nos Clubhuise lasted until 9:55pm, when the electricity went out, in the entire Moomba neighborhood. It was Elmar’s way of finally sending 150 party-goers home, after consuming  100 kilos of the Lionfish Sushi, Lionfish Sliders, Dutch style Lionfish Kibbeling, and Peruvian Lionfish Causa Rellena, delicious layered potato salad.

The chefs preparing the food were the stars of the show, Chef Adriani Geerman, E Sushi Shap, served seven types of Lionfish rolls. Chef Erwin Husken, Screaming Eagle Restaurant, made his samplers exhibition style, and enjoyed the interaction with his adoring audiences. Chef Ronald van Hasenbroek, Aruba Wine and Dine, served three Lionfish specialties — the ceviche was the best I ever tasted. The company was a major event sponsor and supported the undertaking wholeheartedly.

Co-organized by marine biologist Byron Boukhoudt who is also the treasurer of the Aruba Marine Park Foundation, the fundraiser required a pre-event derby, with 20 helpers and 45 fishermen who caught 231 kilos of Lionfish in total. What did the helpers do? They gutted, cleaned, and filleted the fish, a huge job lasting late into evening hours. Canisio van der Biezen, became the individual champion when he personally speared 109 kilos Lionfish without a boat, he just paddled out to fish, he explained, or dove in from shore. Canisio was also the winner of the largest Lionfish caught, a 42.5cm monster, he also speared the smallest, making him the all-around hero. Eric Ras, representing the ARUHUNTER team, was very proud of his peeps’ accomplishments bringing in 45 kilos of Lionfish, last Sunday, even before lunch time. Lionfish Hunter Dennis Schoneveld, was also in attendance, having contributed his share of the catch and Ilja Cybulski, handsome diver/chef, formerly at Que Pasa and Aruba Wine and Dine, now working for Frasa International as a food service support expert, helped fielding questions about Lionfish and appropriate wine pairing. The next step says Carla Cavallaro is to improve the Lionfish distribution system, to facilitate a better process between fishermen and restaurants so Lionfish could be served in many more places. Carla says we should keep the momentum going yearlong, and organize more events, smaller beach type parties to keep the Hunters active around the clock.