Lion Fish in Our Favorite Cruising Waters

Have you heard about the problem with “lion fish” in some of our favorite cruising grounds like the water along the eastern US Coast, Florida, Bahamas, and further down into the Caribbean. The problem began a few years ago when this beautiful but venomous and apparently quickly reproducing species was accidentally introduced into these waters. Not only are they dangerous to humans but they could potentially wipe out other fish species.

Even though we are experiencing an invasion of lion fish, it still appears to be in its early stages so we are hopefully still in time to eradicate the problem. One way to begin helping is by contacting The Reef Guardian program which has been set up for voluntary responses in the BVI including the training and use of markers for divers and tourists to mark the fish where they are sighted.

You might think this an overwhelming prospect but it may not be as difficult as you think because these fish are extremely territorial and stay within feet of their territory as long as they have a good food supply. The fish can simply be scooped up in nets and taken to the surface. Of course in areas were the population has expanded to large numbers the job may be more daunting. According to some reports the BVI has also relaxed certain rules and is allowing certified dive instructors employed by BVI companies to kill the lion fish with sling guns.

One of the main objectives of the Reef Guardians is to deal with the lion fish problem in the BVI. Monitoring and learning their techniques could be educational for helping groups in Florida and Bahamian waters to deal with the same problem.