View Full Version : Eradication of Lionfish?

08-02-2011, 07:30 AM
Scientifically, problem pests have been controlled in innovative ways. For example, terrestrially, blow flies lay eggs on livestock and the larvae (magggots) do major damage to animals. Scientists irradiated male flies with X-rays, which sterilized them and then released the sterile males back into the wild population. The sterile males mated with females, but the eggs were infertile, which quickly brought the population of flies down. Same has been done with other problem pests on land.
If we could do this with lionfish, I think we would be well on our way with a remedy. The problem is capturing males, bringing them up to be irradiated with X-rays and then getting them back into the wild population. We still cannot tell a male from a female lionfish, so we would have to catch as many as possible, irradiate them all to be sure that the males have been successfully sterilized, and them return them. Just may not be feasible, but it is a thought that has worked on other problematic species.

Glen R
11-23-2011, 08:03 AM
Anyone planning on eradicating Bonaire's Lionfish through human consumption may want to read this:


Might be best read before eating ANY Lionfish.

11-23-2011, 09:41 AM
That's not very good news.

It seems it's limited to:
The North Eastern Caribbean from Guadeloupe to the Virgin Islands, including St. Maarten

11-23-2011, 01:01 PM
That's not very good news.

It seems it's limited to:
The North Eastern Caribbean from Guadeloupe to the Virgin Islands, including St. Maarten

Agreed..If ciguaterra is in the waters, it will (to my knowledge) affect all fish to varying degrees, more so top of the foodchain & large fish.

Since this organism is not in Bonaire's waters, I would assume it's safe to eat them. Too bad there's no available test to evaluate the flesh of a fish to r/o this toxic organism.

11-23-2011, 09:12 PM
Jerry talking about the original suggestion, would not it a lot easier to capture one mature male and one female take the mega eggs from the female and roe from the male, raise the young, kill the females, do vasectonies on the males, release, profit.

Glen R
11-23-2011, 11:28 PM

My now somewhat age-challenged memory says that there were a few cases of C on Bonaire maybe 20 years ago, in barracuda. You can ask around there on the island a bit more info to help decide how many chambers there are in that Russian roulette revolver. :)

Glen R
11-23-2011, 11:55 PM
Smits said, " It seems it's limited to:The North Eastern Caribbean from Guadeloupe to the Virgin Islands, including St. Maarten."

Unfortunately the article does not define that definite an area. Two snips from the linked article:

"With our partners in the USVI and in the French Islands we tested several samples of lionfish meat and have found that unfortunately an uncomfortably high percentage showed the presence of ciguatoxin in the meat."

Other areas of the Caribbean, to include Bonaire, were not tested here.

"The North Eastern Caribbean from Guadeloupe to the Virgin Islands, including St. Maarten, have a higher level of ciguatoxin than most other areas in the Caribbean. So to be absolutely safe rather than sorry, we unfortunately can not recommend the eating of lionfish as a method for controlling them," commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Manager." (Or for any other reason, methinks!)

This says that a finite level of ciguatoxin exists over the entire Caribbean, to include Bonaire. At least one chamber of that Russian roulette pistol is loaded on Bonaire. Fish fry, anyone??? :)

Bill Murphy
12-27-2011, 10:38 AM
Here is an interesting article from the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel this morning.


Bill Murphy
Owner of Bellafonte 102

12-27-2011, 01:13 PM
thank you for sharing Bill

01-01-2012, 03:37 PM
We just returned last night from two weeks of diving in Bonaire. We had a wonderful time but I have to sadly say I believe Bonaire is also losing the lionfish battle. I know the Eastside and some distant sites are bound to have more lionfish (one diver reported "countless" lionfish at Taylor Made and Candyland), but there were also far too many lionfish at sites that see a lot of divers. For example, we saw 9 at Front Porch, 6 at Something Special, and 11 at Windsock. Most we saw were between 60-90 feet depth, but some were in less than 20 feet of water. Sightings on Bari Reef were uncommon, probably due to Jerry Ligon and others at BDA quickly responding to any reported sightings.

Other than Bari Reef, it was a rare dive when we didn't see lionfish - and often 2+ in one location at a dive site. Generally, the lionfish were much larger than when we saw them two years ago, but we also saw some smaller ones. We dutifully recorded and reported all lionfish we spotted, but it was a challenge to keep track of where they were and the depth (to record later) because we were seeing them so frequently. I really think STINAPA needs to train, equip and deputize divers to help hunt the lionfish. They won't eliminate them, but they would better control them. And then perhaps lionfish sightings on all reefs would be less common, as they are on Bari Reef.

I know there is concern that people will spear other fish - and maybe some would - but the visiting divers I know would never do that in Bonaire so I have to believe that those divers would be in the minority. And perhaps the fear of large fines and/or being banned from getting a STINAPA tag in the future would prevent those tempted to use the spears on other fish.

I hope that by the next time we visit Bonaire, visiting divers will be allowed to help hunt the lionfish if they want to.