I remember seeing my first #Lionfish
and being so stoked. It was a much different feeling than these days.
I was #techDiving
in the #RedSea
, hanging out at about 55m (180ft) and exploring some caves in the coral wall. I ran across a cave filled with 40-50 of the most beautiful fish I’d ever seen. These Lion fish were on my bucket list for the Red Sea and I was stoked! We went on to see healthy populations on many other reefs and #wrecks
on our expedition.
Lion Fish have now made their way over to the Atlantic and Caribbean (likely via ship bulge water or being released by private or poorly managed aquariums) where they are an invasive species with no natural #predators
, they are voracious and eat everything in site, have massive reproductive capabilities and in many areas have decimated reefs and have taken over as #ApexPredators
. Even the sharks don’t want to touch them. It’s a problem.
Our role as divers and #OceanStewards
is now to help mitigate the damage. Hunting Lion Fish is a common exercise for dive masters and tourists alike and in some areas it’s at least helping keep up with some of their damage. It will be a long time before they’re eradicated, and honestly it’ll probably never happen, but the ocean needs our help on so many levels that every little bit we can do is worth it.
So in your next #diveTrip
ask the dive operation about what they’re doing to protect their natural resources and how you can help out. Stoked to see @huracandivinglodge
doing everything they can, from collecting plastic to destroying invasive species, to help keep the waters of Belize beautiful.