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June 2013 Edition


‘Godzilla of the Atlantic’ - How Antiguan Eco-warriors Are Tackling the Scourge of Lionfish

lionfish1Know what the biggest threat currently facing Antigua's marine ecosystem is? No, it’s not garbage disposal, oil spills or even over-fishing. Lionfish might look beautiful with their vibrant red stripes and resplendent pectoral fins but they’re deadly to our environment. And, if experts are to be believed, these invasive, insidious creatures could wipe out coral reefs as we know them. Notoriously bad neighbours – they’d make Ted Bundy look like a more appealing room-mate – they can gobble their way through around 20 smaller fish in just half an hour. Lionfish are renowned for eating anything that can fit in their mouths - including groupers, lobsters and algae-munching parrotfish, allowing seaweed to overtake the reefs. With no known predators – and the capacity by each female to produce a staggering two million eggs a year – their numbers are booming. Lionfish can grow up to 15 inches long, weigh up to three pounds and have a lifespan of 15 years.

How they arrived in our waters, no one knows for sure. Native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, they were most likely released by unwitting aquarium owners. But they’ve made the alarming transition from fish-tank curio to one of the biggest ecological disasters in recent history with startling speed. This week, Antigua’s waters are home to 77 less of them thanks to a mass cull last Sunday organised by local environmentalists. The Antigua Conservation Society joined forces with representatives from Mamora Bay Divers and St James’s Club to undertake a blitz. Six boats took to the ocean to compete for the biggest catch. Victorious was Mamora Bay Divers’ team of eight who snared 28 lionfish from the Indian Creek area. The win netted them EC$1,000 cash, donated by St James’s Club. In second place was Soul Immersions, with Tin Tin in third.

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Eli Fuller, of the Antigua Conservation Society, said he was pleased with the event’s success. “Everyone had a really good time and we definitely plan on doing more hunts. The main concern is that lionfish are killing off all the juvenile fish. They are voracious eaters with no known predators; to keep numbers down we need to do a blitz every three to four months. We are planning the next one for September.” 

Anyone interested in taking part in future culls can email for details. The introduction of lionfish into the Atlantic Ocean is now recognised as one of the worst ecological disasters of the last two decades. Today lionfish are found in nearly all marine habitats in the south-east United States, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. Densities of lionfish have surpassed some native reef fish in many locations. The ecological impacts are far-reaching, from disruptions to the structure and function of reef communities to impacts on commercial fishing and the tourism industry.


Special offers from our advertisers...

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Gigi’s Industries

With so much emphasis on Mother’s Day, dads can often get a raw deal. Don’t let yours miss out – dads eat for free on a table of four at Sugar Club on June 16

Tuck into a three-course menu for EC$130 per person, plus tax and service charge. Delectable comestibles include duck spring roll with guava glaze to start, followed by herb-roasted half-chicken, lemon thyme mahi mahi or tamarind glazed pork chop. Got a sweet tooth? Tuck into one of the restaurant’s belt-busting desserts such as fruit crumble with vanilla ice-cream.

Alternatively, treat your father to a US$25 grooming gift set from the resort’s Aveda performance line or a gift certificate for one of its excellent spa treatments. Visit www.sugarridgeantigua.com for more information.

 

Think your child has what it takes to create the best tasting pizza?

Budding chefs aged seven to 13 can put their culinary skills to the test at Swalings Pizza Competition, being held at Al Porto’s restaurant on June 15 at 5.30pm. Enter now by emailing your child’s name, the name of their pizza and choice of toppings to . Young contestants will whip up their creations on the day before a panel of Swalings judges. Scores will be based on name, taste, appearance and originality.

First prize is a free week of Playlist Summer Camp, second prize is a week-long swimming course, while third is a week of soccer camp. In addition, the popular Jolly Harbour-based eatery will donate a dinner for four to the family whose child gets the most orders from a special Contestants’ Menu. Call Swalings on 726-2585 for more information.

 

As summer swings into gear, many of us will be spending more of our time in the great outdoors

Give dad a special Father’s Day gift to beautify his garden or decking area with the latest stylish designs in outdoor furniture from Gigi’s. Browse the Factory Road store’s collection of everything from water features to al fresco dining tables. Visit Gigi Furniture for more information.

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North Coast Hardware
 
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Outdoor World

Is your dad a DIY devotee?

Treat him to discounted power tools by big names such as Black & Decker, Dewalt and Makita as part of North Coast Hardware’s Father’s Day special promotion. Visit the Friars Hill Road store for details or call its friendly and helpful team of staff on 463-6245.
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Whether your father has a passion for fashion or is a stylist’s worst nightmare, a trip to Newgates to deck him out in the latest offerings from Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger or Polo Ralph Lauren is guaranteed to put a smile on his face

Browse the Heritage Quay outlet’s selection of top quality Polo-shirts, shirts, ties, belts, caps, socks and trousers. The store is currently offering discounts of 20-60% storewide. Call 562-1626 for more information.

 

Give your dad a Father’s Day gift he’ll never forget

outdoor-world-jetskiOutdoor World has a host of promotions to delight adrenaline junkies. Special offers are available on Yamaha Electric Blue WaveRunners. Visit the Old Parham Road store for details or call 460-7211.


 
Diamonds International

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Nothing says ‘I care’ like a gift from Diamonds International.

For Father's Day - and throughout the summer season – the store is offering US$5 Wenger gift cards for the purchase of any Wenger product for US$50 or more. A maximum of two gift cards can be combined into US$10 towards a purchase of US$100 or more.

Choose from a wide range of items such as Swiss army knives, belts, wallets, cutlery, sports watches and shoes from the Diamonds International or Tanzanite International stores in Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay.

Call 481-1880 for more information.

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Jolly Harbour Open House – June 14 and 15

Love interior design but lacking that artistic flair? Perhaps your home is in desperate need of a revamp before launching it onto the property market? If you’re looking for inspirational ideas to transform your living space, head to Luxury Locations’ open house on June 14 and 15. With a little help from Gigi’s Industries, Lolita's and North Coast Hardware we are delighted to showcase our latest exciting new venture – a total refurbishment of Villa 411A, complete with fittings and furnishings.

The property will be open to visitors – and prospective buyers – next Friday and Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Just email to advise us of your attendance. This delightful villa is now on the market – fully furnished – for US$245,000. Later, after enjoying a sneak peek at our handiwork, why not kick off the weekend with happy hour at Al Porto’s in Jolly Harbour. The Italian eatery is offering EC$5 drink specials and two-for-one appetisers between 5pm and 7pm. 
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Piet Boon: A creative coup for Pearns Point

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For more than three decades Piet Boon has been infusing his magic into properties across the globe. The acclaimed designer’s name is associated with luxury homes and hotels, restaurants and resorts throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Piet-BoonThe 55-year-old from Amsterdam is famed for his distinctive exterior and interior styles, which range from a private residential resort in South Korea to golf-club villas in South Africa. Little surprise then that he was hand-picked to lend his clean-lined custom creativity to one of Antigua’s most exclusive and eagerly-anticipated developments. Boon’s latest project is the pristine paradise of Pearns Point, a stretch of untouched hillside on the west coast of the island, boasting some of the country’s finest vistas and secluded white sand beaches. No stranger to the region, Boon says he uses each location’s unique characteristics as the inspiration for his work. “I’m travelling so much, and I get a lot of inspiration by seeing the flow and feeling of these different places,” he recently told US lifestyle magazine Surface. “We try to study how the people live, the way they think, and then design for the culture and environment. For instance, in the Caribbean, where I’ve done a lot of work, a lot of houses were completely closed because of the air conditioning.

Pearns Point by Luxury Locations Antigua