ORANJESTAD — The red lionfish was observed in the Aruban waters for the first time yesterday, said Milton Ponson of institute Rainbow Warriors. He is worried about the consequences for the underwater life as these fish have few if any natural enemies. For example, the fish became a plague within a period of a few years, and has chased away most of the native fish species.
By nature, the fish mainly lives in the waters along East Africa, Indonesia, and Japan up to Australia. The lionfish, which is related to the scorpion fish, has poisonous quills that could inflict very painful injuries when threatened. In general, the fish is not aggressive. It is a night fighter and mainly eats small fishes, shrimps, and crabs." __________________________________________________ _____________________
WHAT TO DO? "REPORT: If you or someone in your organization notes on this species, we recommend that you report immediately to environmental authorities in your country or locality, indicating date, place, time and approximate number of animals observed. You can also notify any direction from the email list (below).
"The venomous Indo-Pacific ‘Lionfish’is regularly observed in habitats within the southeast region (Florida to North Carolina) and the Bahamas. These fish are not native to Atlantic waters and may have a negative impact on native fish populations. All of their spines are venomous and can cause extreme pain! If stung, immerse wound in hot water and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Geographic Location and Habitat: Lionfish are native to Indo-Pacific waters and are now being reported primarily by Scuba divers from the Bahamas to Cape Hatteras NC in water depths from 5 to 300 ft on hard bottom, coral reef and artificial substrates. Lionfish can also be caught by hook and line. NOAA requests information about all Lionfish collected by hook and line. Location information such as lat/long, depth and type of bait and tackle are encouraged.
Recommendation: If you catch a lionfish be extremely careful, do not come in contact with the dorsal, anal or ventral spines. If fish must be handled, thick PVC gloves or a gaff is recommended. Please do not throw lionfish back in the water! NOAA is interested in all lionfish specimens and reports. Put lionfish on ice and report any lionfish catches to NOAA at (252) 728-8714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org"
We observed the lion fish at Harbor Reef on Sept. 16th. We called our local marine biologist/ govt. agency and we were told to either catch it alive or remove it and bring it to the local authorities. Just keeping you informed.
Today one of our instructors with the help of fellow divers captured the lion fish alive. The marine biologist was called and he sent to gentlemen to pick it up. In case you are wondering how it was done, it was with a laundry basket and a mesh bag.