What Happened To Traditional Fisheries After Shark Tank?

Traditional Fisheries is featured in Shark Tank on episode 419. Gary Groomes and Dave Johnson are two entrepreneurs working to eliminate invasive species of Lionfish from coastal Florida and the Caribbean Sea.

Lionfishes are found predominantly in Indonesia and are popular aquarium fish in the Pacific Ocean.

A lionfish first appeared in coastal Florida in the 1990s, and it is believed that reckless aquarists discarded them into the water, causing it to invade this foreign ecosystem.

The Lionfish lives in the waters of the southern United States and the Caribbean, where it is venomous and has no natural predator. 

The increase in their population adversely affected indigenous species like grouper and snapper.

Additionally, they contribute to the demise of coral reefs by preying on the species that support the reefs.

The Lionfish may never be entirely eradicated from their new home, but the Traditional Fisheries people have a natural control method: Catch and prepare them.

The Lionfish they catch are sold to humans, and the Sharks are expected to join them in eating Lionfish.

What Are Traditional Fisheries?

Traditional Fisheries was a seafood distribution company concerned about the expanding population of lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean, dubbed “an environmental terrorist.”

Lionfish do not have any natural predators due to their venous spines, so they feed on valuable snapper, grouper, shrimp, crab, and lobster larvae.

Historically, the primary objective of Traditional Fisheries was to eradicate lionfish invasive to the Caribbean and Florida coasts.

Traditional Fisheries Shark Tank Update

Traditional Fisheries created lionfish (which are completely safe to consume) to mitigate the economic and ecological damage caused by lionfish in the ocean.

Lionfish in these waters have no predators other than humans. Traditional Fisheries started to combat overpopulation by frying, eating, and creating a culinary market.

Company NameTraditional Fisheries
EntrepreneurDave Johnson and Gary Groomes
ProductLionfish distribution company
Investment Asking For$225,000 For 25% equity in Traditional Fisheries
Final DealNo Deal
SharkNo Shark
Episode Season 4 Episode 20
Business StatusOut Of Business
WebsiteVisit Website

Who Is The Founder Of Traditional Fisheries?

Traditional Fisheries was created by Dave Johnson, a fisherman from Wayzata, Minnesota. He was fishing for big game fish, such as giant snook, in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

He married and relocated to the area shortly after that. He then learned about changes to the Riviera Maya reef and its inhabitants.

All of Johnson’s in-laws are anglers, and they also noticed changes in the reef.

They speculated that the changes could be due to an increase in the number of strange-looking fish. Naturally, it was a venomous lionfish indigenous to the Asian Pacific.

Johnson realized that preserving the reef necessitated the lionfish’s extinction. Johnson considered the best course of action.

He eventually decided it could be worthwhile to catch and sell the lionfish for sustenance. Johnson’s Traditional Fisheries strategy combines a viable economic model with an environmental cause.

Traditional Fisheries Before Shark Tank

The president and founder of Traditional Fisheries, Dave Johnson, just entered the Shark Tank with Gary Groomes, the company’s vice president.

They seek $225,000 in exchange for 25% ownership in their business. The two of them need assistance in combating the Lionfish, a terrorist that attacks the environment.

He believes that Lionfish are among the most severe environmental terrorists because they wreak havoc on the economy and the environment.

It was brought from the Pacific to be sold in tropical fish markets, admired for its beauty.

A few of them were thrown into the Atlantic Ocean about 20 years ago, and they have multiplied since then as rabbits.

How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Traditional Fisheries?

Dave Johnson and Gary Groomes appeared on Shark Tank seeking an investment of $225,000 in exchange for a 25% stake in Traditional Fisheries.

Lionfish are portrayed as an “environmental terrorist” because they are now the second most frequent species in the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans since they were introduced inadvertently 20 years ago.

The lionfish are a serious threat to the ecological balance because there are no natural predators, and they devour commercial species, such as snapper.

They suggest that lionfish could be transformed into a delicious delicacy by grooming and Johnson.

Daymond John is interested in finding out how cave-dwelling fish can be harvested commercially.

Groomes recommends spearing the fish. They have contracted with spearfishers to supply their catch. They generated $12,000 in revenue over the past year.

Robert Herjavec says that the firm’s biggest challenge will be educating consumers about the new fish dish. He says, “If there is no demand, it makes no difference how much supply you have.”.

Kevin O’Leary explains that lobster took 40 years to develop from being a cockroach in the sea to a delicacy.

According to him, lionfish will not establish a commercial presence for a very long time. He is out.

According to John, the cost of resolving the “educational difficulty” will be more than $225,000. He has departed. Mark Cuban concurs. He has departed.

Lori Greiner supports anything that benefits the economy but “can’t envision people rushing to eat lionfish.”

The final Shark is eliminated, and the pair exit the stage without concluding a deal with the shark.

What Happened To Traditional Fisheries After Shark Tank?

It is no longer possible to access the Traditional Fisheries website five years after that episode of Shark Tank aired.

Nonetheless, CNBC recently reported that lionfish were served at New York City’s Norman’s Cay (which closed on October 2. Chadwick opened a distribution company, Norman’s Lionfish, which continues to operate.

Currently, Chadwick offers lionfish at his Lower East Side oyster bar and seafood restaurant Grey Lady. He also sells lionfish to major customers such as Whole Foods Market.

Traditional Fisheries Shark Tank Update

The Sharks seem too deterred by the thorny consumer education issue.

It would be necessary to build lionfish markets from the ocean floor up. It is simply too expensive to market and creates a market niche when the product is hard to get.

Traditional Fisheries would have been unable to continue their goal of eliminating lionfish from the Atlantic and Caribbean waters without Shark investments.

Their website is no longer active, and their social media profiles have been inactive since 2011.

How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Mr. Poncho?

In the hopes that others will step up to fight invasive species and raise the position of traditional anglers who have been submerged under the sea, we can only hope.

They ceased operating a few months after the show aired. It may have been a precursor.

Publix and Whole Foods Market have started selling Lionfish filets in January 2022, along with several online vendors.

Are Traditional Fisheries Still In Business?

Traditional Fisheries was founded by Randy Johnson and Gary Groomes, a successful seafood entrepreneur.

They started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for their work to reduce the Caribbean’s lionfish population.

Traditional Fisheries has ceased operations due to the failure of the campaign.

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