The Lion Fish Syndrome


I go diving usually twice a year in the Caribbean; Utilla, Honduras, Mexico and most recently Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The Lion Fish (pterois volitans) is an invasive species that is even found on the east coast of the U.S. They are everywhere. They originated in the western Pacific and aquarium owners released them and now they have invaded our Gulf and East coast waters. They are predators, without any real enemies. Their Dorsal, Pelvic, and Anal spines deliver a terrible sting that is fatal to predators and very harmful to humans. The Lion fish can spawn a million eggs a year and is a ravenous eater of other juvenile species that have balanced the aquatic ecosystem we have enjoyed for so long.

If you are a diver, I encourage you to get an Acu spear or some similar product and start sticking these dudes before they decimate our play ground. I stuck my share of these prickly pirates in Belize and believe it or not, the Nassau Groupers would show up and swallow these things whole. The nurse sharks would do the same, but only after you had dispatched them with your spear. The locals would cut the poisonous spines off and filet them and they are delicious. There is no limit and there are no laws protecting these bad boys, so get out there and make as many Lion fish dead as you can.
Lion fish are sort of like federal regulations and new taxes. They just keep on multiplying, ruining our country and sticking us all. Get out there and spear with your vote while our grandchildren still have a chance.

Neil K. Haynes
August 31, 2011

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