Lionfish Invasion

While strikingly beautiful, Lionfish, with their venomous fins, are a harmful invasive species in the Caribbean Sea. Cayman island reefs have become infested with these animals. Non-native Lionfish are fierce predators that can wipe out large numbers of indigenous reef fish very quickly.  They reproduce frequently and in large numbers.  The Lionfish population explosion is dangerously throwing Caribbean coral reef ecosystems out of balance.  Thus, it is the legal practice of dive operators to kill these animals when they are discovered.  On four dives this month we found and killed 12 Lionfish.  After spearing the animals they are either removed and returned to land where local restaurants prepare them for meals or are fed to the large snapper fish on the reef in an attempt to train them to become predators of the Lionfish.  So far, Snapper will gratefully eat the Lionfish but unfortunately do not yet hunt them on their own.  They have learned to follow divers however. Step 1?  You will notice several large snapper trailing us on our dives.

Here are two informative links…

Lionfish Invasion

Lionfish Hunting

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