In the Lion’s Den – UWI grad captures, sells pesky fish

Riesa Sumair founder of Lion's Den Seafood turned a hobby into a seafood distribution business, catching and selling the invasive lion fish. (Photo by Jeff K Mayers via Newsday)
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(Trinidad and Tobago Newsday) – When Riesa Sumair graduated from UWI, St Augustine in 2015 with a degree in business management, her parents probably didn’t expect she’d choose fish vendor as her profession.

“They have been incredibly supportive, though and have been the ones pushing me to stick with this fish-vending business,” she chuckled.

Riesa Sumair founder of Lion’s Den Seafood walks out of the water of Macqueripe after testing new scuba gear last Sunday. (Photo by Jeff K Mayers via Trinidad ad Tobago Newsday)

Riesa, 24, is the founder of Lion’s Den Seafood, a sustainable seafood distributor that started out as a hobby, but morphed into a major outlet for divers in Tobago to hunt and sell lion fish, an invasive species wreaking havoc on local reefs.

“It didn’t start out as an entrepreneurial endeavour. My diving team and I would go on dives and it was just like, oh, there’s a lion fish. We need to get rid of them. And we’d catch it for dinner,” she told Business Day. She did notice, though, that lion fish could be a sustainable niche market and no one else was filling the gap, and so she decided to do that herself.

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