“Hey, you got a Lionfish. Aren’t those poisonous?” Ian asked me when I reached the surface. “Yes…” I replied, “and I just got stung by it.” This week we went spearfishing in Tulum and hunting Lionfish with Ian and friends and family; after 10 minutes in the water I got stung. Stung by a Lionfish.
I got bitten by Barracuda (painful, but doable and great story at a party). I can’t count the number of Triggerfish that left a lifetime memory on my skin (part of being a spear fisherman). A Nurseshark sucked my leg when we choose the same menu (wish I had that on GoPro). And then now finally, after removing hundreds of Lionfish from the Caribbean without a problem, an experience that beats all the injuries mentioned above.
Without a doubt, by now everybody knows that here in the Caribbean we have Lion Fish. A fish that was not here 10 years ago. We hunt them.
Our guide Diego, a biologist, loves to talk about them for hours and hours and hours, jeje. Let me copy some of his words that for me (I don´t think you realized that Diego, hihi) were very interesting.
The words “lion fish eats all the other fish” are too simple. I honestly did not understand. I have not seen a Lion Fish eating another fish. Though I do see other fish in a stomach of a Lion Fish. Diego explained very well during our last Lion Fish hunting trip. And I wanted to share.
A Lion fish does not eat a fish bigger than itself. Though it does eat A LOT of fish. A LOT. So 1 Lion fish eats many small Groupers a day for example. And the Lion Fish grows. And eats a bigger Groupers. So we might not notice at this moment that there is less fish. We still see many HUGE Groupers, Snappers, etc. But in a couple of years… who knows?!? We taking out a couple of big fish a year is not that big of a deal. And the smaller fish we take, we respect the seasons, sizes and the number of fishes, so also that is under control.
But that Lion Fish. That Lion fish does not respect the minimum sizes, the maximum number of fish you can take a day and the seasons. That is why we go Lion Fish hunting.
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