News & Events
EAT THEM TO BEAT THEM: ST. LUCIAN 'CONSERVATION CUISINE' BATTLES LIONFISH
Lionfish, one of the most destructive invasive fish species ever to reach the Caribbean, are wreaking irreparable damage on coral reefs by eating practically everything they come across. And they eat a lot: A lionfish's stomach can expand up to 30 times its normal size.
It has become of particular concern to environmentalists who lament the fact that lionfish, with no natural predators in the Caribbean, continue to grow at an alarming rate, with scientists fearing the invasive species may never be entirely eradicated from the region's seas.
But, a high-end resort company in St. Lucia is doing its bit by including the fish as part of its famed cuisine.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of the storied Jade Mountain and its sister resort Anse Chastanet, together with her culinary team, have launched a "conservation cuisine" initiative preparing the lionfish as a delicacy.
"It is not much of a stretch," declared Troubetzkoy. "Lionfish is a white flaky, but firm, fish with a flavor between grouper and mahi mahi."
To ensure diners get to try as many takes on the fish as possible, Troubetzkoy said, "we are serving a multi-course dégustation menu with paired New World wines, in which we showcase the quality and taste of this very unique fish."
A perfect dinner setting to savor a lionfish meal at two of St. Lucia's leading resorts.
Diners, seated at a romantic beachside candlelit restaurant, are served lionfish as pure sashimi, citrus ceviche wrapped in a crispy tortilla, and either grilled or stewed with the flavors of St. Lucia. "It is always delicious and a very special dinner experience prepared by our best passionate chefs and sommeliers," she said.
And for the diving enthusiasts, the resorts' scuba operation Scuba St. Lucia has introduced PADI's "Invasive Lionfish Tracker Specialty Course", which takes guests on two dives to learn about controlling the invasive lionfish population and discover practical methods for humanely capturing and euthanizing these fish.
Lionfish reach adult size at about two years old, and it's safe to say they won't get anywhere near the endangered species list because a female lionfish can release between 10,000 and 30,000 unfertilized eggs every four days, or about two million eggs per year.
"So, bon appétit and save our seas!" Troubetzkoy quipped.
For further information visit here
About Anse Chastanet
Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia's iconic twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amidst St. Lucia's lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach. The environmentally friendly, award-winning resort has 49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 that are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Innovative menus - one entirely vegetarian - are offered in four different locations and feature fresh produce served up from the resort's organic farm. Guests can join interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort's chocolate laboratory, or in a range of watersports.
Celebrate the 2nd annual Saint Lucia Dive Fest 2017 at Anse Chastanet and Scuba St Lucia!
The island will celebrate their underwater world from 9th - 16th September 2017
Anse Chastanet Resort in Soufriere, Saint Lucia and their scuba operation Scuba St. Lucia have created a week of special activities in celebration of Saint Lucia’s 2nd annual Dive Fest.
The dive fest at Anse Chastanet will celebrate everything about Saint Lucia’s marine life and diving, with a week full of boat and shore dives, PADI courses and photographic competitions.
There also will be an environmental edge to the week with offerings such as the PADI Dive against Debris Specialty.
The week’s activities include an eradication day of the invasive lionfish followed by a cooking demonstration and special dinner feast of these lionfish prepared by Anse Chastanet’s culinary team.
Guests participating in the DIVE FEST get treated to a JAZZY sunset cruise as part of the Dive Fest package for a close-up of the magnificent Pitons twin peaks whilst sipping on rum cocktails and looking for whales and taking pictures of the dolphins who often like to swim along.
For those with non-diving family members, Anse Chastanet offers an array of other activities - from biking to sailing, kayaking to bird watching or simply chill on the beach or try out the complimentary sunrise and sunset yoga classes. As part of the DIVE FEST special activities, non-divers staying at Anse Chastanet can try a scuba beginner's course for free.
Travel: 9th - 16th September 2017
US 2649 per person/diver/dbl occ/US 2259 per person/non-diver/dbl occ US 2449 per person/diver/triple occ/US 2059 per person/non-diver/triple occ US 3749 single diver/US 3359 single non-diver
The special Dive Fest package includes:
7 nts run of house accommodation, airport transfers, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, all tax/service, welcome drink and culinary amenity on arrival, participation in the Dive Fest special activities,12 beach or boat dives incl of tank, weights, belt, mask, snorkel, fins ( other equipment at a charge if needed, marine park fee to be paid locally ), sunrise and sunset yoga, non motorized watersports. Non Diving companion Dive Fest package includes welcome and farewell dive fest party, Lionfish Feast Dinner, Jazzy Sunset cruise, a jungle biking tour and optional scuba beginner’s course for free.
Learn More: Here
Introducing Underwater Photography weeks at Anse Chastanet and Scuba St Lucia
Saint Lucia’s Anse Chastanet Resort together with their PADI 5 STAR scuba operation Scuba St. Lucia and in collaboration with Sealife Cameras will be hosting 4 specialty weeks in 2017 dedicated to underwater photography. The 2017 weeks are August 19-26, Sept 30- Oct 7, Nov 11-18 and Dec 9-16.
Divers will be able to fine tune their photography skills with a series of seminars and dives in one of the most protected sites in the Caribbean.
Anse Chastanet boasts designated marine reserves protecting miles of colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, vibrant corals and stunning macro life.
Whether you are a new photographer with a point and shoot camera, or the owner of a complete DSLR system, the week will provide you with hands on training in areas such as ambient light use, model photography, macro photography, animal portraits and general compositions.
Learn More: Here
Bioluminescent Sexual Courtship displays by Ostracod Crustaceans on the Anse Chastanet Reef
“Thousands of these remarkable crustaceans, called ostracods, tumble out of the reefs just as twilight fades to darkness and the males produce a galactic symphony of blue lights that burst out in precise patterns. Imagine that you are a sesame seed sized guy cruising around in the sea at night trying to not only locate, but also attract, a hot female. How do you do it? Well, one way is to somehow advertise your location with pulses of light! You do this by squirting out molecules that emit light when mixed in seawater. You make a squirt of light, then another, and another …and as more pulses are produced in a row, the earlier pulses slowly fade away yielding what looks like a moving string of tiny glowing pearls in the water. These displays are unique to each species of ostracod, and up to a dozen species can be seen to display in one reef system. This results in a "Dazzling Blue Symphony of Lights!"”
Coral spawning dives are on August 14, 15 and 16, 2017
In August Witness Rare Coral Spawning at Anse Chastanet, Saint Lucia
Anse Chastanet’s experts accurately predicted last year's coral spawning, this year it is predicted to take place from the 14th – 16th of August.
One of nature’s most spectacular and rare performances, only a handful of people worldwide see this phenomenon in their lifetime. Guests at Anse Chastanet, St Lucia, are lucky enough to witness this marvel annually as the natural wonder occurs right off the beaches of this characteristic resort.
Each year, Anse Chastanet’s scuba diving team, Scuba St Lucia, incredibly and accurately predicts the night spawning and prepares to take novice and experienced divers and snorkelers to observe the remarkable phenomenon which turns the seas yellow and pink with upwards moving “snowfall”.
Accompanied at night by Anse Chastanet’s skilled in-house scuba staff, divers and snorkelers will be able to witness the mesmerizing fertilization process of both coral and various other reef inhabitants.
What is coral spawning and why is this so rare?
First discovered in the 1980s at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, this annual mass reproduction phenomenon is now known to be critical to coral reef – and our own ecosystem’s - survival. Tropical coral reefs, although out of sight, are essential to our world-wide food chains.
Each year, coral release millions of packets of egg and sperm cells that appear as massive underwater clouds of white and pink upward moving “snowfall”. After they drift to the surface for fertilization, the sea will be partially covered by the slicks of coral larvae before they settle to the bottom destined to build the next generation of these vital ocean organisms.
While much of the coral spawning process remains a mystery, scientists from all over the world study these miraculous events, and now know that the ideal time for the release of the reproductive cells is a week or so after a full August moon. It happens an hour or two after sunset with the cover of darkness increasing the chances of larvae survival by overwhelming fish predators.
How is Anse Chastanet conserving and preserving this rare phenomenon?
This spawning phase of reproduction is now known to be a weak link to world-wide coral reef survival as it can only happen when conditions are just right; it is the phase most sensitive to human activity, non-point source pollution, and climate change.
As the world’s coral reefs are being decimated by the effects of global warming, this unique reproductive process takes on even further significance. Thankfully, Anse Chastanet has made a conscious effort for nearly 20 years to protect the reef from harm due to it exemplary and progressive sustainable designs and architecture; by minimizing impervious surfaces, keeping shorelines green and stable, and completely preventing runoff from entering the water – Anse Chastanet successfully preserves this wonder for future generations.
Watch Anse Chastanet’s coral spawning video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZQ1KerxYPg
Seven night dive packages at Anse Chastanet for August start at US $2,389 per person on a double occupancy basis where both guests are diving. Rate includes full-board, airport transfers, 12 beach or boat dives, dive equipment and non-motorized water sports. Marine park fee of US $17 is to be paid locally. See more at: www.scubastlucia.com
Nightly rates at Anse Chastanet start from $375 per room based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 12.5% VAT. http://www.ansechastanet.com
About Anse Chastanet, Saint Lucia
Anse Chastanet sits quietly in an idyllic spot on St Lucia’s south western coast close to the awe inspiring Piton Mountains. The resort comprises of 49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 which are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Local woods and other local products are in integral part of the design of the rooms. Anse Chastanet is home to St Lucia’s only Vegetarian restaurant as well as fine-dining option The Treehouse Restaurant. A number of fantastic treatments are available at The Kai Belté Spa and activities including a large variety of watersports are all on offer too.
View some of last year's event below
ST. LUCIA UNVEILS SEALIFE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY LEARNING AND RENTAL CENTER
MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (January 11, 2016) - Scuba Saint Lucia at Anse Chastanet Resort in Soufrière, St. Lucia has become a SeaLife Underwater Photography Teaching and Rental Center.
Nestled in the hillside next to the majestic twin Pitons lies one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful and diverse diving resorts. Scuba Saint Lucia, a part of the Anse Chastanet resort, was established in 1981 and is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, offering comprehensive facilities for divers of all levels.
SeaLife recently released its new Micro 2.0 camera, the second generation of permanently sealed cameras that feature a new Sony 16mp CMOS sensor and other features that make underwater imaging easy and enjoyable with impressive high resolution results.
Scuba Saint Lucia offers rentals of the new cameras and all the user needs to do is book a dive and complete a brief orientation and safety check. The rental SeaLife Micro 2.0 camera features will be demonstrated by a staff member who will point out underwater imaging basics and offer assistance and imaging tips.
After the dive, the staff will assist in transferring the camera’s images and video to cloud-based storage. The diver will receive an emailed link to his or her images. The full range of SeaLife products are available for purchase at the Scuba Saint Lucia retail store next to the dive operation.
Scuba Saint Lucia operates with three dive boats: Miss Ina, Miss Bertha and Miss Ta Ta. The dive boats are all equipped with fresh drinking water, full safety equipment, first aid kits and a DAN Oxygen unit.
The Anse Chastanet reef starts just 10 yards beyond the water's edge. The reef's remarkable ecosystem offers an amazing profusion of unusual tropical marine life, in 20 to 140 feet of calm, clear water.
Anse Chastanet’s reef, which is home to more than 150 different species of fish, makes for an amazing dive, day or night. Peacock flounders, octopus, needle fish and turtles can be seen in the shallow areas. A little deeper over dense coral growth, divers can see puffers, moray eels, parrot fish, lobsters and even sea horses. This unique dive site is suitable for divers of all abilities and especially good for macro photography.
About SeaLife Cameras
SeaLife underwater cameras, lights and accessories are designed, engineered, made and distributed by Pioneer Research in Moorestown, N.J. SeaLife cameras were first introduced in 1993. In 2000, SeaLife made the first digital underwater camera. In 2007, SeaLife developed the first non-housed digital underwater camera, and in 2013, SeaLife introduced the powerful Sea Dragon Lighting system with its innovative Flex-Connect tray, grip, arm and accessory system. SeaLife Cameras, Lighting and Flex-Connect Accessories are sold and serviced in 64 countries around the world.
For more information on SeaLife, visit http://www.SeaLife-Cameras.com.
About Anse Chastanet
Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s twin Piton Mountains and the Caribbean Sea. Reflecting the environmental philosophy of its owner/architect, Nick Troubetzkoy, the resort is in harmony with its surroundings from its low-roofed architecture to the tropical hardwood furniture in its 49 rooms. Making the most of St. Lucia’s lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking, and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach, scuba diving in the surrounding marine reserve, relaxing in the tranquil Kai Belté Spa, or just swaying in a hammock by the sea.
Special One Week Dive Deal at Anse Chastanet Book Now Coral Spawning Week 2018 St Lucia Dive Fest 2018 Eat Them To Beat Them Underwater Photography Weeks Sealife Photography, Learning & Rental Center