12/27/08

Boxing Day Hunt


The day after Christmas is a big holiday here in the Bahamas so we decided to go out and do something to save the planet, like, KILL LIONFISH! So I got a crew together consisting of 2 spotters and 2 hunters. We went out in front of Gregory Town, a spot called Long Bite. Spotted around 11 lionfish ranging from 8" to 14 1/2" in an area about 75 yards long along the cliffs. Got my own personal record lionfish! We killed 6, injured 2, and the others got lucky cause we were such bad shooters. Anyway, thanks "Wild Bill", Robert, and Craig for helping on this hunt. Special thanks to Madison for taking video of this hunt which I will feature on youtube

12/2/08

Triggerfish a Natural Predator?


I interviewed a lobster fisherman from Spanish Wells named Mark who had extensive knowledge of the lionfish, from the day he saw his first one, to the lionfish population reaching it's plateau. I will soon post an interview with him on youtube. One very interesting fact that he gave was that there was an area in the ocean where he did not see any lionfish. This area was heavily populated by triggerfish. I also read in aquarium sites that trigger fish cannot occupy the same space as lionfish in an aquarium, they break off their spines. Also when I dive and I see ocean talleys (member of the triggerfish family) in an area I also notice that there are no lionfish. Could it be that triggerfish are going to save our oceans from the lionfish? If so there should be halt on killing triggerfish.

Gaulding Cay and Glass Window Bridge


Louis takes us out on his adopted reefs to clear them of lionfish. view:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6PegwkMXQc

11/7/08

Whale Point and Rainbow Bay


This week the Mojo Kingdom lionfish hunting crew got 9 lionfish from Eleuthera side  of Whale Point. The stomach contents of the largest one revealed 4 small elongated fish measuring from 1" to 2". Two days later we went to Rainbow bay and got 2 large ones measuring 12" to 13 1/4". We thought we had a record fish because he was so fat! Here is a picture of the fish after we cleaned him. We also caught a grouper and decided to have a side by side taste comparison. Both fish were less than 2 hours old and both fish were prepared in the same batter. All 4 people voted the lionfish better tasting! The lionfish had no fishy taste. I will post a video soon on a new method of cleaning and capturing the lionfish.    

11/1/08

Two new reports


A 13 3/4" Lionfish was caught at the Glass window bridge on the south side by "Mr. Dome". He had 2 small seahorses in his belly. Mr. Dome took him home to eat for the first time. He fried the fish in a pancake batter and said it was delicious! Also a couple of days ago I went out with my buddy Joey to get some lionfish for dinner at some rocks just south of Gregory town. We got 3 big ones measuring 12" to 13 1/2" (speared 3 or 4 small ones too). The contents of the belly were mainly juvenile reef fish. One of the fish had a 3 1/2" yellow tail snapper and a small schooling bait fish in the belly.  Our Bahamian friend Sherman came by came by to prepare the fish for dinner. Here is his recipe for what he called the "red grouper": cut the fish into 2" x 3" chunks, grind up some hot pepper with salt and rub on the fish,  marinate in sour orange for 30 minutes, then deep fry in hot oil over a fire. AMAZING! Joey claims to have eaten the best meal of his life! Maybe we should start calling lionfish red grouper so that people will not fear eating them.

8/28/08

New Lionfish Record!


Lad Akins from the REEF organization gets the largest Lionfish ever in the Bahamas. Looks yummy! Lionfish IS the next food source.

This fish, measuring 15 7/8", was caught on Split Reef in 47 ft of water

8/24/08

National Geographic Lionfish Video

Go to:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/08/080822-lionfish-video-ap.html

8/20/08

Informative Lionfish Video

To view some informative videos about the invasive lionfish in the Bahamas go to
Part 1 - http://www.lifeonterra.com/episode.php?id=165
Part 2 - http://www.lifeonterra.com/episode.php?id=166

8/15/08

Bahamian Student Speaks Out

Jenna Chaplin from St Andrews School on New Providence is working on an essay to show how the lionfish populations are increasing over the years. "I live on a sailboat in Nassau harbour and I feel this has kept me very aware of the lionfish in our area. Two weeks ago, my family and I went to Exuma where I killed 12 lionfish in one day and my brother killed another bunch the following." 
Thank you Jenna for your efforts and don't forget......you  can eat lionfish and they taste delicious! 

8/12/08

Eleuthera bags second largest lionfish in the Bahamas!


David from the Current Lionfish Brigade, speared the second largest lionfish ever caught in Bahamian waters, according to Lad Akins of the REEF organization. The fish was around 15" long and had plenty of meat on him. Meanwhile, Trish (also a member of the Current Lionfish Brigade) is busy putting together a lionfish recipe calender. We are all looking forward to seeing that!
By the way, a new lionfish hunting crew is forming out of central Florida calling themselves "Space Coast Slayers". They are planning a trip to Eleuthera at the end of August with a mission to "...slay more lionfish than anyone." I think they are going to break some records on this trip. Dani, the chef of the group will be creating delicious recipies which she plans on sharing with us. They have an underwater camera and will be documenting their hunts for the lionfishhunter.com web site. The Space Coast Slayers also send out a friendly challenge to other lionfish hunting groups. Any takers? Current Lionfish Brigade?

8/7/08

lionfish natural predators

Up until recently not too much has been known about lionfish predators except from a small article about a cornet fish,  recent findings in the Bahamas ( a nassau and tiger grouper), and the video of the the humpback scorpionfish  devouring an adult lionfish (found on this blog). Maybe we should look past the open ocean for our findings. Maybe the aquarium trade, that started this mess, might also have some answers. The following facts are taken from a marine aquarist's site ( http://cache.search.yahoo.net/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=lionfish+spine&fr=yfp-t-501&u=www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-11/fm/feature/index.php&w=lionfish+%22lion+fish%22+spine&d=b9HYpRg5RPYb&icp=1&.intl=us ) :
 "Even though lionfish are venomous, lionfish are not immune to being harassed or even eaten by other fish. Large eels, frogfish and other scorpion fish are all predators of lionfish in the wild. According to Michaels (1998), large angelfish, pufferfish, and triggerfish are also known to harass lionfish. Triggerfish are notorious for nipping off the dorsal spines before killing lionfish. However, I have found the planktonic feeding triggers (Blue cheek, Pink-tailed, Niger) to behave more predictable towards lionfish."
When I get back to the Bahamas I will injure a lionfish and throw him in the midst of some feeding grey trigger fish and let you know what happened! 
Thanks again to Amanda from Current for this article.

Lionfish sting treatment

If a lionfish or scorpionfish ever stings you, the very first thing to do is immerse the wound site in hot, non-scalding water (110-113°F) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pain subsides. According to Michaels (1998), applying rapid heat using a hair dryer will also work. The key point is heat; lionfish venom contains many heat labile proteins, and heat will denature these venom proteins, preventing them from spreading in the bloodstream and decreasing the severity of their effects. Do not use boiling hot water; the burn resulting from boiling water will often be worse than the lionfish sting. The most frequent symptoms of a lionfish sting are pain and swelling. However, a few people may have an allergic reaction to lionfish venom and should be cautious if the pain and swelling get worse over a few hours. This article found at http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-11/fm/feature/index.php . Thank you Amanda in Current for this article.

8/1/08

Lad Akins from REEF visits Eleuthera

Lad Akins from REEF organization visited Eleuthera last weekend to tag lionfish and educate the locals on how to clean and eat this wonderful tasting fish. From what I hear, his ceviche recipe  (raw fish marinated in spices and lemon juice) was amazing! What's notable about the lionfish that were caught is that the lionfish had NO fish in their stomach, which is rare. This could mean that the lionfish had already cleaned out ALL of the juvenile fish from that reef system and now were starving???? I don't know if other fish were noted as being on this reef. If anyone has more info about this event, please write...

Amateur kills lionfish

The confidence I have in my abilities to spearfish are negligible. This is based on my previous spearing experiences. Although I’ve definitely enjoyed my attempts they were nothing short of hilariously pathetic. Anyhow, recently I have been on a few Lionfish hunting excursions where I have seen these fish hover in the water, unmoving all but their twirling spines. I watched my friends spear lionfish like they where plucking flowers from a back yard. After a few outings I came to the conclusion that my ‘negligible’ spearing skills were more than adequate to kill lionfish. So with confidence I put myself out there and it wasn’t long before I encountered four lionfish hovering underneath a rock, their usual habitat of dwelling. With the greatest of ease I dove down, pulled back on the spear and pow; my spear got stuck into the rock beside the Lionfish while the it remained 'unmoved' by the event. I could swear this fish looked like it was laughing at me. It surely could only be mocking my poor spearing abilities by not even budging a fraction. So anyway, five shots and fifteen minutes later, who was the one with the final laugh? Me baby! All the while the Lionfish stayed in the same spot. Hmmm… final conclusiong, if I can do it i'm sure anyone can!     

by: Amanda from Current Eleuthera Bahamas


7/26/08

Natural predator of the lionfish

video
This video was taken in Indonesia where the lionfish have natural predators.
Film by Blueringedproduction.tv/

Lionfish facts from the experts

Check out these informative videos: http://www.lionfishhunter.com/Lionfish%20Experts.html

Lionfish Hunter web site

If you have not yet visited the official web site, go to lionfishhunter.com

Lionfish Hunter video hunt

Check out this hunt where I spear and then eat lionfish in the Bahamas.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR-0zXnYMuc