Traditional Fisheries was a seafood distributing company concerned with the growing population of lionfish, “an environmental terrorist” in the Atlantic Ocean. Lionfish, which have no natural predator due to their venous spines, prey on valuable snapper, grouper, shrimp, crab and lobster larvae. The idea of Traditional Fisheries was to get people to consume Lionfish (which are 100 percent safe to eat) to help alleviate the economic and ecological damage caused by lionfish in the ocean. The two founders, Dave Johnson and Gary Groomes, pitched Traditional Fisheries on Shark Tank in March 2013. They went into the Tank seeking an investment of $225,000 in exchange for 25 percent equity but, alas, they did not get a deal.
Five years after the Shark Tank episode aired, the Traditional Fisheries website is no longer active. However, in October 2017, CNBC reported that New York City restaurateur Ryan Chadwick was serving lionfish at his restaurant Norman’s Cay (which has since closed) and started a distribution company, Norman’s Lionfish, which is still in business. Chadwick is now serving lionfish as a special at his oyster bar and seafood restaurant Grey Lady in the Lower East Side and is selling lionfish to big clients including Whole Foods. See video below. New episodes of Shark Tank air Sundays at 9 pm on ABC.