Two years ago the first lion fish was seen in Cayman waters. Since then there has been an explosion of these beautiful, yet invasive creature on our reefs.
One year ago we used to see one lion fish a day and now we are seeing multiple fish on every dive.
As we mentioned in our last post the DOE together with the local dive operators and REEF have been concerned and have looked at how best to handle the problem. We were first trained and issued with nets to capture the fish. It soon became obvious that this method was not effective in the control of the fish. It was even seen that the lion fish could learn to hide when they saw nets.
I was diving and saw a lion fish, i showed the fish to all the divers, and some took photos. I went back to the boat, got the nets and as soon as i got close to the fish it hid!
After careful planning the DOE with a special amendment to the spear fishing law has issued all registered and trained dive operations with a spear. No diver likes to kill fish and these creatures are beautiful but there is no chance of complete eradication. We just hope that we can be the predator until nature finds a balance. Living The Dream Divers is sensitive to people who do not want to see this and only uses the spear with the permission of all divers on board.
About the Author
Gary is a PADI Master Instructor and an RYA 200 ton Off Shore.Having worked all over the world as a dive instructor and boat captain. He has spent the last 20 year based in the Cayman Islands. Together with his wife Liz they have built the number one scuba diving operation in the Caribbean.