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Fishermen, divers declare war on Lionfish

Fishermen, divers declare  war  on  Lionfish


Local fishermen and divers are taking matters into their own hands, and have started their own lionfish eradication campaign.{{more}}

Over the weekend, divers in the Southern Grenadines engaged in friendly rivalry, competing to see how many of the habitat threatening fish they could remove from the waters, in an effort to reduce the presence of the non-native species, which has little or no known predators in these parts.

According to an email from Nancy Saul-Demers, whom SEARCHLIGHT spoke to on the matter last week, Ansel Allen of Grenadines Dive bagged ten of the venomous fish in one day; eight of them on the North Point of Chatham Bay and two on the South Point.

According to Saul-Demers, two of the fish, which prey on small fish and invertebrates, were kept by Grenadines Dive owner Glenroy Adams for further education of school children and fishermen, while the others were taken into the fisheries office of the Tobago Cays Marine Park in Clifton, Union Island.

Another diver, Vaughn Martin of the Canouan Dive Centre extracted five of the fish from waters between Mayreau and Canouan, and more divers are expected to take up the challenge.

In most countries where the lionfish are unwanted and unwelcomed, authorities usually arrange extracting competitions, and advise that the fish be used as a delicacy.

Saul-Demers indicated that she showed lionfish videos at the Mayreau Government School last Thursday, and has been talking about REEF’s lionfish resources, which include workshops, fact sheets, cookbooks and filleting videos, at every opportunity.

“Social media, including twitter and Facebook, have helped me reach out quickly with updates and photos.” Saul-Demers wrote. (JJ)