Rainforest now offering live lobsters to hotel diners
Rainforest Seafoods Limited is expecting other hotels to join the initiative in which guests are given access to live lobsters as a menu option, according to business development manager Max Jardim.
The first deal was struck in October between Palace Resorts and Rainforest. Under the arrangement disclosed on Thursday, hotel guests are offered live lobsters as a premium product, at an additional cost, using resort credit at the 705-room Moon Palace hotel in Ocho Rios.
Jardim declined to comment on the value of the agreement, which includes maintenance of a lobster seawater aquarium. He noted that the aquarium would only be stocked with lobsters harvested by local fishers.
Those fishers will supply Rainforest, which in turn will stabilise the catches in temperature-controlled tanks before delivering the lobsters to the hotels.
"The deal with Moon Palace is a brand-new initiative, and our ultimate goal for the programme is to strengthen linkages between Jamaican fishermen and the major hotels. Given the success of this programme, we expect many other hotels to jump on board. We are confident that the initiative will develop into a vibrant domestic market for our fishermen," said Jardim.
"Moon Palace has positioned their aquarium in a high-traffic restaurant on the property. It is a showpiece and a wonderful added value for tourists, many of whom do not know that Jamaica is a major producer of lobster," he told Gleaner Business.
Rainforest Seafoods is responsible for maintaining the aquarium, which can hold up to 200 pounds of lobster. The lobsters can survive in the seawater for up to two weeks, Jardim said.
The water in the tank is regulated at around 69 degrees Fahrenheit.
The lobsters are sourced on the southern coast of Jamaica. Rainforest said the offering to hotel guests is specific to the lobster season only.