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View Full Version : Lionfish...let's take action



bnoij
05-05-2011, 10:25 PM
A lot has been said already about lionfish in the old forum but since we start fresh I find it appropriate for lionfish to be the first topic in environmental action. In my opinion it is such a big issue and will remain to be that forever I'm affraid that it could even warrant a separate category. But for now environmental action is probably the closest match.

The more people involved in hunting lonfish or otherwise helping to reduce their numbers the better. If you have ideas or questions on this or need tips (I am a very active hunter and always happy to help others become the same) let me know. For those that are on facebook, we have a group called 'Bonaire Lionfish Hunters'. Look us up.

kob
05-06-2011, 07:24 AM
Bas -- we're looking forward to hunting with you in September. Looking forward to a little lionfish BBQ as well !!

DiverVince
05-06-2011, 01:05 PM
I'll be down the end of July for several weeks and can't wait to try out my new fillet knife and frying pan! :D

scubaliz
05-06-2011, 03:23 PM
I'll be there June 1st, ready to roll as soon as you are back on island!

LilBus
05-15-2011, 06:46 PM
Bas - we were on the same fishing boat you went diving on while down - Captain Chris was great but poor Teo had a head cold..- hope to catch up with you next time - and cant wait to EAT those b@$t@rd$!!!

Hey - I heard tourists can kill lionfish but not with a speargun/pole.. Do you know the validity of this?

bnoij
05-15-2011, 07:43 PM
That was actually another Bas (Bas Tol) but we work for the same dive operation. At the moments tourists are not allowed to use any type of spear. The only device legally allowed is the ELF tool (a small spring loaded hand spear). There is a program in the making that will allow visitors to also use an ELF after a training course and under the direct guidance of a licensed local guide. Other than that no spearing allowed as of now. You are of course allowed to catch them with nets or coke bottles or stab/slash them with a knife (actually seems to work well on the little ones according to Bas Tol). Even if shooting them yourself is not allowed we can still take you on a nice Lionfish safari in which you can actively participate in everything but the actual shooting. Good fun and good eating!!!

LilBus
05-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Ooooooppppsss -- - sorry Bas - my mistake - he must have been in the derby with you too. Thats sounds like a great course in the making - hope to take it next year if its up & running.. I dont think I am coordinated enough to knife one - I have visions of lionfish fans stuck in my arm and a lost vacation in the hospital - did show a "hunter" a nest of them & watched him shoot & clean them - smooth as silk he was..
Cant wait to eat them!!

DiveSergeant
05-15-2011, 10:56 PM
We will be there in April 2012. I'm all in for some lionfish stalking and hope the laws allow me to hunt them. I'll keep watch here and eagerly await developments.

I love hunting, diving, shooting and eating seafood, so killing some lionfish for dinner is a logical progression for me.

I can't wait to saute a few in some garlic butter....

DiveSergeant

Bas Tol
05-17-2011, 02:39 PM
Stabbing with a knife does not work. Slashing does work BUT only on very small ones. We are talking 1 to 1-1/2 inch in size. And only if it's on a flat BARE ROCK surface with full access! You will have to be able to get very close with the knife and then slam it down fast. Your chances are much better at night with the fish blinded by your light. Please don't try to go catching the fish with a knife. Your chances of succes are really poor and it makes the fish you've tried much harder to catch in the future.

Sue
05-30-2011, 06:20 PM
Just came back from a dive trip to Grand Cayman (my boyfriend dives.) We stayed at Compass Point on the east end of the island. Once a week the dive boat goes out on a lion fish hunt. Divers point out lion fish and the dive pros shoot the fish with metal rods and then remove their swim bladders. The fish are de feathered and skinned. At the pool that night I watched as a cook made little packets with aluminum foil of lionfish filets, chopped onion, chopped pepper, herbs and spices with a dab of butter on top and grilled them. The fish was tender and delicious.

DiveSergeant
05-30-2011, 07:50 PM
Just came back from a dive trip to Grand Cayman (my boyfriend dives.) We stayed at Compass Point on the east end of the island. Once a week the dive boat goes out on a lion fish hunt. Divers point out lion fish and the dive pros shoot the fish with metal rods and then remove their swim bladders. The fish are de feathered and skinned. At the pool that night I watched as a cook made little packets with aluminum foil of lionfish filets, chopped onion, chopped pepper, herbs and spices with a dab of butter on top and grilled them. The fish was tender and delicious.


Now that sounds yummy! Throw in the fact that you were on East End Grand Cayman diving with OF and it could hardly be better.

Still hoping to be able to hunt the little buggers myself, but I guess being a 'pointer' isn't a bad life.

DS

Warren
06-08-2011, 04:19 PM
We only snorkel but have seen lion fish all 5 days we have been here. We have a resident just off the shore of the Divi. Today we actually found a diver that had a net and showed the diver to the lion fish and she took care of it. Thanks to her. As a long time hunter and fisherman it doesn't look that difficult. Since there are so many why not just kill them and leave them? It seems like the small ones are not worth keeping to eat. Thanks to all that kill these fish. I worry about the kids at the resorts being attracted to them and wanting to touch them.

DiveSergeant
06-08-2011, 10:40 PM
Hi Warren,

I'm with you. As a hunter I've watched the lionfish reaction and it seems that it should not be that hard to kill them. I understand that once a fish experiences a close call though, they get a bit more cagey.

Also, as pretty as they are, you make a good point about kids at the resorts trying to catch or touch them. That could be nasty.

So far, it seems that most of the Caribbean islands only allow a select few dive masters to kill these critters. For the life of me, I don't understand why they do not allow all divers and snorkelers to join in. PADI has, I believe, created a short lionfish course. Why not allow anyone who has taken it to have at the buggers? A small army of trained snorkelers and divers could help hold the line for a while.

DS

tursiops
06-09-2011, 07:57 AM
The PADI lionfish specialty is about capturing and bagging. Not nearly as efficient as spearing/killing on the spot.

DiveSergeant
06-09-2011, 09:18 AM
The PADI lionfish specialty is about capturing and bagging. Not nearly as efficient as spearing/killing on the spot.

Good point, especially if the lionfish is small and you are not going to be taking it home to eat. While I make a point of eating what I kill, small lionfish would be more work than they are worth and it'd be good to be able to kill them and feed them to the grouper and snapper to help these larger predator fish develop a taste for the lionfish.

iTimmmy
06-13-2011, 06:27 PM
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Cecil
06-14-2011, 08:26 AM
Well I can tell you in the Bahamas they have taken over. I was just there and it is not pretty, you see lots of tiny fish and lots of big fish but nothing in between except Lion Fish. A Bahamas Lion Fish.

http://new.bonairetalk.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=50&pictureid=297

jskouba
06-21-2011, 04:27 PM
While diving off the Bellafonte hotel today we encountered two lion fish under a coral head in about 37 feet of water. We snapped a few shots of the area (and of course of the fish themselves, they are beautiful), but we didn't have anything to mark the area with. We spoke to the guy at the dive shop but he seemed uninterested in reporting them. Who can we speak to about getting them removed?

ModFreddie
06-21-2011, 04:34 PM
call eva at CIee or email her eva@cieebonaire.org

Bruce Z
06-21-2011, 06:33 PM
Thanks iTimmy. Part 2 of the REEF video is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd38YHrGPM4&NR=1

wsn
06-24-2011, 07:53 PM
"We spoke to the guy at the dive shop but he seemed uninterested."

I think the dive shops are nearing a "burnout" stage.

A few days ago we called Toucan ?? (at the Plaza) about a lionfish near the Tipsy Seagull restaurant (at the Plaza). It's about 30' south of the Tipsy's stone wall; about 30 feet out from shore; & about 10' deep.

They seemed uninterested also. The lionfish was still there today.

grunt
06-25-2011, 04:56 PM
I was in Roatan in May.
We saw lionfish on every single dive, and often many on a dive.
The DMs were killing all they could ( with a small Hawaiian sling type rig) to no noticable effect.
One person with access to a small sub stated that at a depth of 500' they are so thick you cannot count them.
Makes a person wonder if culling those at recreaational diving depths does any good.

Bruce Z
06-25-2011, 09:14 PM
I was in Roatan in May.
We saw lionfish on every single dive, and often many on a dive.
The DMs were killing all they could ( with a small Hawaiian sling type rig) to no noticable effect.
One person with access to a small sub stated that at a depth of 500' they are so thick you cannot count them.
Makes a person wonder if culling those at recreaational diving depths does any good.

I have heard (it's on the REEF videos) that they have been spotted as deep as 500 feet. But I wonder how many. What do they eat at that depth? And if they die back when reaching colder waters in winter up the Atlantic coast, how do they survive in water that deep, which I think is also quite cold? I don't have answers, just questions.

They really have access to a sub? Cool. Any video from the dives?

Yes, it's a good question whether this effort is worthwhile long term. Guess we'll have to see whether there is a noticeable effect on fish diversity in areas where divers (and fisherman) attempt to control the population and in areas where they don't.

oshendvr
06-26-2011, 10:59 AM
In Puerto Rico, they are paying the fishermen $30 for each lionfish they catch.

smits
06-26-2011, 01:29 PM
So if we catch them in Bonaire it's a great export product to Puerto Rico :-)

grunt
06-26-2011, 02:34 PM
RE: Roatan sub
The guy I spoke with does not own the sub but was a passenger.
It looks interesting, if a bit out of my price range.
I have not been in Bonaire since last May, but the lionfish population seemed much greater in Roatan.

http://www.stanleysubmarines.com/

oshendvr
06-26-2011, 08:27 PM
Smits, I think you may be on to something

tursiops
06-27-2011, 06:39 AM
In Puerto Rico, they are paying the fishermen $30 for each lionfish they catch.
I believe that is $3, not $30.

smits
06-27-2011, 09:18 AM
I was afraid so.

I just read on a Curacao website that they leave the killed lionfish on the reef. They hope that other fish get used to eat them.
They do not feed the dead lion fish to other fish because that would be un natural.

dreemerdog
06-28-2011, 03:49 AM
Yes indeed, the Lion fish are generally speared (by authorised diver) in the Cayman Islands. Divetech (North Grand Cayman), and also Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman have 'cook-outs' where guests can sample the fish once prepared & grilled ; we loved it!!
A long term solution is required tho - spearing will never eradicate them totally; some form of 'genetic modification' would be the best plan.....

grunt
06-28-2011, 08:22 AM
New report about trying to kill lionfish.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0019666