First culinary training course for invasive species

Ecologists and Chefs join forces: First culinary training course for invasive species

More than fourteen thousand alien species have been introduced into Europe through anthropogenic practices. Invasive species pose a major threat to biodiversity worldwide, many are detrimental to society, human health and the economy. It is estimated that invasive species and the problems they create have a global economic impact of $70 billion per year.

The Mediterranean has become overwhelmed with alien species (>1000).  Alien species enter through the Suez Canal where they reproduce and spread uncontrollably causing ecological and socio-economic consequences to local communities and the environment (competition with native species, leading to a reduction in biodiversity and ecosystem services).

As part of the “FishTheAlien” project, the environmental organization Marine and Environmental Research (MER) Lab and chef Petros Yiangou from Harmony by the Sea restaurant are working together to present the first educational culinary seminar on invasive species in Cyprus. The event, supported by chef Savvas Savvas, will take place on July 25th and 26th at City Unity College in Nicosia.

The event aims to encourage the consumption and trading of alien species, moving away from traditional methods which threaten our natural environmental, instead promoting sustainable fishing, seafood consumption and building incentives to achieve frequent and large removals of these invasive alien species.

Chefs with the combined knowledge of local produce and culinary skills are a key way the public can experience a new species that they previously would not try or were unaware of. Thus, reducing the stress on popular overfished high tropic native species. Consequently, the training of chefs to prepare invasive alien species would be highly beneficial to the European Union and Republic of Cyprus promoting sustainable consumption and protection of the environment.

Through the seminar chefs will be able to acquaint themselves with alien species as innovative products that promote sustainable fishing and reduced environmental impact. These novel eco-products and the subsequent skills gained will provide a highly competitive, unique market advantage. Dealing with invasive species starts from our plate!

Participants can choose to attend the seminar in one of the following available groups:

  • Monday 25th July— 18:00 – 20:00
  • Tuesday 26th July— 18:00 – 20:00

The seminar is free of charge and interested cooks are invited register their participation via e-mail: or telephone: +357 96598310, +357 99264335. Limited number of seats.

Event Supporters:



Lionfish soup with saffron and vegetables by Chef Petros Yagou.