First officially recorded in Belize in 2008, by 2010 invasive lionfish were well established countrywide. Surveys in northern Belize in 2011 showed that demand for lionfish meat existed within the tourism sector, but no restaurant served lionfish regularly. A disconnect existed whereby fishers required a guaranteed market, and potential buyers needed a reliable supply. Identification of a buyer in the USA provided the surety needed for a fishing cooperative to invest in developing a central handling facility, providing support to buyers and suppliers. Media coverage following the first export prompted the largest fishing cooperative in the country to also purchase and stockpile fillet for bulk export, however this targets only the largest lionfish. Growth in the fledgling domestic market, which utilises smaller lionfish and increases market access for fishers, is now essential in intensifying lionfish removal efforts sufficiently to impact upon population growth and expansion.