Dive centers take part in hunt for lionfish

POSTED: 05/7/12 1:13 PM

St. Maarten – Local dive centers have partnered with the St. Maarten Nature Foundation to combat the lionfish invasion in local waters. From the seventh to the sixteenth of May various dive centers and dive operators on St. Maarten will be taking part in a lionfish eradication program called “Lionfish Hunt 2012”.  During the project dive centers will capture lionfish both inside and outside of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park and deliver them to Nature Foundation staff members for research and processing.

At the end of the project the dive shop with the most delivered specimens will be declared “Best Lionfish Hunting Dive Shop 2012” and will receive various prizes donated by the community. “Divers are essential to controlling the lionfish invasion and through their help we hope to continue having a serious impact on the distribution of these animals. Hopefully this is one of many such partnerships between the Nature Foundation and the diving industry on St. Maarten. Various dive centers on the island have also received a new device called the ‘ELF’ which they have been testing for effectiveness in capturing lionfish. The abbreviation stands for eliminate lion Fish. Based on their feedback we hope to distribute these devices widely throughout the island”, Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets stated in a press release.

Lionfish are an invasive venomous fish that can inflict a painful and sometimes fatal sting. Lionfish are usually found in the Indian andPacificOceansbut were introduced into theAtlanticthru the aquarium trade. Native fish species don’t recognize the Lionfish as a threat so they are unable to defend themselves against it. In other places where lionfish were spotted there are hardly any snappers and grouper left because those are the type of fish the lionfish likes to eat.

The Nature Foundation encourages fishermen, divers and all those who may have captured or sighted lionfish to report their catch or sightings to the Nature Foundation by calling 527 04 90 or email to manager@naturefoundationsxm.org.

Did you like this? Share it:
Dive centers take part in hunt for lionfish by

Comments are closed.