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Old 06-10-2008, 03:05   #31
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According to reports by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), six lionfish where released into Biscayne Bay, when Hurricane Andrew (1992) smashed a private aquarium.

The red lionfish is an inhabitant of near and offshore coral and rocky reefs to depths of 50 meters. The species shows a clear preference for sheltering under ledges or in caves or crevices by day.

If you encounter this fish during the day, when it is typically found hiding, it will usually remain motionless (except possibly for erecting its dorsal spines).

If you encounter it in the open during the day or night (when it feeds), it will typically flee for a hiding place, especially when illuminated by a dive light.

No effective method of control has been identified as of yet.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:04   #32
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I was told recently that the primary source for the lion fish in the Bahamas is Atlantis. They filter the water going in to their fish tanks but not the discharge. The lion fish larve just flowed out into open water. That has probably changed now, given the problems.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:03   #33
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Adult and juvenile lionfish sigthed off St Croix. People encouraged to catch them in bags----The article can be read here Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Newspaper, A Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper, Virgin Islands Guide, Virgin Islands Info
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:29   #34
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LionFish predators. My wife placed a fairly small lionfish in my predator tank and about a week later we sall a 18" bamboo shark eat the lionfish whole with no ill effects. I was worried as we'd had the shark for a while but we didn't see any ill effects except that it didn't eat during that day's feeding (it had already eaten). This tank has two bamboo sharks and a chainlink moray eel. We've had other lions and puffers. The lionfish were by far the most voracious eaters; could be a problem on the reefs.
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Old 30-12-2008, 08:16   #35
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Another Link

Didn't see this link here so figured I'd add it:

I think this season in the Key's and Bahamas I'll be eating my fair share of this critter
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:27   #36
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I will kill on sight. We must stop the envasion and the envenomation.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:57   #37
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Just last month they have been reported off the Yucatan and Quintana Roo coasts in Mexico. A newsreport at Christmas showed the cleaning process of the fish for eating. It was suggested that it would be an ideal protein supplement for the poor, but the lady cleaning did not look too impressed to me.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:52   #38
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Here is a good 2 part documentary produced in the Bahamas.

Lionfish Invasion Video Conch Salad TV Part 1: Source & the Problem

s/v Beach Cruiser
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:18   #39
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Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
I will kill on sight. We must stop the envasion and the envenomation.
Good to kill them, and if you are in the Bahamas and Caribbean you will have plenty opportunities to spend hours in the water doing so, but it is much, much too late for snorklers/spearfishers to have any real impact on the invasion or continued growth of the population.

They are well-established in deep water reefs as well as shallow ones - calm reefs as well as violent ones - and we have seen them in numbers all through the Bahamas, PR, VI's, Leewards, Windwards, Venezuela, and ABC's. We haven't been on the reefs in Columbia and Panama, but expect to see them here also.

There are far too many good habitats that are well outside the environmental ranges any people can reasonably access to believe they can be controlled through hunting.

For killing ones on reefs, I just remove the spear tip from my pole spear and start punching holes in them. You can kill a lot this way and don't have to worry about getting the fish off the spear. Punch - pull - punch - pull...etc... If you are inclined to go through the bother of cleaning them for eating, you can go back and collect the bodies.


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Old 11-08-2020, 08:30   #40
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Re: Lionfish Invasion

We cruise the Caribbean, now heading into year five. The red Lionfish is everywhere so reporting sightings is a wasted effort. They eat the fry of all reef fish and reproduce frequently. Egg masses are thought to taste bad So they successfully travel with the currents and Sargasso. Some countries claim they have ciguatera but I think this is to discourage spearing. Generally, only large fish such as barracuda over two feet, big grouper etc carry the toxin.

In Cariacou the dive masters have had success teaching local reef predators to hunt and eat them. They started by clipping the poison quills and releasing Lions. They presented Lions to morays, groupers, snappers, octopus, rays. These predictor are now feeding on the lions and the reefs are improved.

We find also that where aggressive lion hunting is pursued the reefs have way more fish and it’s hard to find Lions.

If you want to hunt lions you will need a Zookeeper. This is a plastic tube container. It has a closure on one end with flexible pie shaped flaps. You force the speared lion through the flaps and withdraw the spear, sans lion. You should never risk getting stuck by one of these guys. If you are stabbed by a live one your dive is over. Squeeze, suck the poison out and head for the boat. Very Hot water Will help and you may get some relief from Benadryl. If you get two or more stabs you may be heading for the doctor. One of my dive mates got careless and was stuck in his thumb. It was painful and his hand and arm were swollen for three weeks. A Dominican fisherman pulling a net got three spines and was incapacitated, hospitalized.

OK, for the how to and fun. Lions hide out in cracks and crevasses, coral heads and even in tall grass in the anchorage. Find them also under ledges the same as lobsters. I recommend a pole spear with three barbed trident. The pole needs to be 3-6 feet long. The commercial Zookeeper is kind of expensive so I made my own. See photos. It’s a 5 gallon bucket with the lid cut in pie shaped wedges. Snorkeling, I use as is and it floats. Diving with tanks/hookah I put a rock or two pound dive weight in so the bucket will stay where I place it on the bottom. Shallow water, small fish. Deep water, big ones and more fish. You can fill the 5-gallon bucket diving in Portsmouth, Dominica if you hunt 55-100 feet.

After the hunt, drain the water from your Zookeeper and leave it alone for about 40 minutes for the fish to die. The muscles that pump the poison from the base of the quill will be inactive. Still, avoid getting stuck. I prefer totally removing all quills and fins with a set of medical SS shears. One edge is serrated. Hold the fish with your thumb inside the lower jaw and clip away holding the lion over the water. After this, clean as you would any other fish. I prefer to cut all around the fish’s back and belly, head to tail and then peel the skin off. Start at the back of the head with the skin trapped between your knife and thumb. Pull the skin off in one easy stroke.

The meat is whit and firm like snapper.

Fun video

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Old 22-09-2020, 06:32   #41
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Re: Lionfish Invasion

there are videos on how to safely harvest these fish and safely prepare them for a tasty meal. They truly are delicious. lion fish cakes, lion fish burgers, lion fish sticks. They don't yield a heck of a lot of flesh but if you spear and collect about 8-10 of them you can feed 3-4 hungry adults. I don't even see them as an invasive species anymore and see them as game. I used to kill them just to kill them now I eat them with great pleasure.

Edit:After posting this I see Nicholson 58 posted everything you need to know to go down the path of collecting these tasty fish.
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Old 22-09-2020, 09:46   #42

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Re: Lionfish Invasion

On Roatan (where spearfishing is illegal except for lionfish), They are on the restaurant menus. They are very tasty. The numbers there are starting to decline. Lionfish are a delicacy.
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Old 21-12-2020, 03:51   #43
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Re: Lionfish Invasion

Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
How the heck do you clean them for eating? I guess they're still poisonous when they're dead. I have heard they can be eaten but I think I'll stick to less venomous fish even if they're more difficult to shoot. Those groupers in the Bahamas have generations of learning how to hide from us, it might be my imagination but they were a lot easier to shoot 20 years ago but then again, it might be me being twenty years older.
Good news there:
They need to "push" the poison out so ones dead they don't inject poison any more. On top of that the poison is a protein, meaning ones it is cooked it is inactive either way.
So bottom line: Shoot'em, cut the stingers for safety and then... cook them up :-)
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