Skeete’s Bay Market Project to Boost Red Snapper Supply

The Skeete’s Bay Market Project has been set up to boost Barbados’ supply of fresh graded Red Snapper, so that commercial and individual customers have the quantities and quality they require.

It is being led by International Chef and Culinary Director at Westpoint Culinary Inc., Michael Hinds. According to Hinds, the Skeete’s Bay Market Project is a cross-sectoral sustainability initiative which encompasses aspects of the manufacturing, tourism and agriculture/mariculture sectors. Its objective is to address the primary challenge facing the local fishing sector – an overdependence on fish imports. Barbados imports 50 percent of the fish we consume, including Red Snapper, from as far away as Asia.

His solution is a marine aquaculture project to farm a native species of Red Snapper, to provide restaurants, hotels and ordinary consumers with a reliable supply of that fish. The Skeete’s Bay Market Project will feature:

  • A near ocean flow-through system with a pipeline running 300 meters out to sea
  • The system will treat water using filtration before it goes into the pre-nursery, nursery and grow-out phase of farming

Looking to the future, Hinds said the goal is for the Skeete’s Bay Market Project:

  • To farm on land up to 10,000 Red Snapper per month for the local market before expanding to the marine aquaculture system
  • To have a farm-to-table dining experience at the location
  • To be powered by solar

Regarding the influx of Sargassum seaweed at Skeete’s Bay, Hinds said it would not affect their ability to farm and supply fish. However, because of the pungent odor the rotting seaweed can emit, it could hamper plans to leverage hospitality and marine tourism for the Skeete’s Bay Market Project. Therefore, he is challenging entrepreneurs to utilise existing technologies to make productive use of the nuisance seaweed. Among his suggestions is to use the seaweed to make fabric and construct guard walls and stepping stones.

The Skeete’s Bay Market Project was one of the finalists in the Export Barbados (BIDC) and Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility’s Oceans Challenge. Hinds said he is willing and ready to partner with other entities to explore the full potential of the Project and the Blue Economy.