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Business / Culinary / Culture / Featured / News / Virgin Islands / October 31, 2016

ST. CROIX — Eight restaurants participated in the Nature Conservancy’s Reef Responsible Fish Fry on Sunday afternoon at the Fort Frederik Museum, a Dine VI-sponsored event aimed at promoting the territory’s restaurant offerings, while raising awareness about the importance of abiding by conservation rules relative to fishing.

Kemit-Amon Lewis, Nature Conservancy’s coral conservation manager, who also leads the nonprofit’s Reef Responsible Sustainable Seafood Initiative, said the second annual affair served as an outreach program to help people buy into the Nature Conservancy’s efforts.

“I do coral conservation all across the Caribbean, but I’m from St. Croix, and a lot of my efforts are here on this island,” Mr. Lewis said. “With the restaurants, Conservancy gives them seasonal closures, catch restrictions and size limits so that they can improve how they bring fish into the restaurants and then serve it to the public.”

Patrons gather at the Fort Frederik Museum to enjoy a variety of seafood tastes at the Nature Conservancy's second annual Reef Responsible Fish Fry. (Credit: VIC)

Patrons gather at the Fort Frederik Museum to enjoy a variety of seafood tastes at the Nature Conservancy’s second annual Reef Responsible Fish Fry. (Credit: VIC)

“Nature Conservancy is also working on a criteria to connect directly with fishers as well as the supermarkets,” he added. The end goal will see a Reef Responsible logo on participating businesses, serving as confirmation that they have committed to sustainable practices in regards to seafood, according to Mr. Lewis.

A major sponsor of the event, whose financial backing allowed the Nature Conservancy to offer the meals free of charge on Sunday, was the Department of Tourism through its Dine VI initiative. “All of the seafood that people ate today would have been free,” Mr. Lewis said.

The tasting affair, which began at 3:00 p.m. and ran until 6:00 p.m., saw a constant flow of patrons, who took advantage of the variety of seafood eats prepared by the restaurants.

Abby Vidal enjoys a taste atop the Fort Frederik Museum. (Credit: Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

Abby Vidal enjoys a taste atop the Fort Frederik Museum. (Credit: Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

Participating restaurants included BES Craft Cocktail Lounge, Un Amore, Ital in Paradise, J&V Diner, balter, Kaza House and Twin City. Live music was provided by Romanza and a cash bar by The Gentlemen of Jones.

Dine VI was created to highlight the territory’s culinary offerings, while supporting culinary programs at schools throughout the territory. Also known as Restaurant Week, the set of events commence on October 27 and runs through November 12. Dine VI also serves to bolster the USVI as a culinary tourism destination.

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Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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