Can we train dolphins to hunt the Lionfish?
I think we are better off teaching all our divers and spearfishers to do this. They have found that full grown groupers will eat them but they are just outbreeding all the fish that would eat them. just my 2 cents :)
especially spearfishers. I'd like to catch a few myself. The only animal more voracious than the Red Lionfish is H. sapiens, especially H. sapiens americanus, and Bahamians eat them - but the logic behind teaching dolphins, seals, and other aquatic mammals is that they live in the oceans. I imagine that grouper can be trained. The next questions are which can be trained faster? and which can be bred faster. Can we breed dolphins and hatch grouper in captivity and train them to go after Red Lionfish in the wild?
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Speaking of spearing.
If you spear and kill a lion fish is there any risk to other fish to leave them on the bottom?
I hear that they are good to eat but the idea of a stringer full of toxin filled barbs makes me loose my appetite.
As for the groupers do they suffer any ill effects from the toxins or barbs?
Just a thought... would some kind of cattle prod work without shocking the person using it?
As a frequent diver to Cozumel I am concerned about the voracious appetite and potential damage this species can do to the reef system. I have seen several divers spear these fish outside of the marine park boundaries: what is the current status concerning spearing these fish within the park boundaries? I am under the assumption from various web references that officially no one can spear anything within the park confines, but that the government "won't get upset" if someone does so in the case of lionfish. I've also been told that the park occasionally hosts lionfish hunting events within the park for limited times. I can't seem to get an "official" standing on this. We dive more often within the park that outside of it, and would like to know if removing them from within the park is acceptable - but we don't want to do anything that would be illegal. Can you shed any insight on this?
Thanks for the post. Good questions and an important issue, especially as it relates to Marine Protected Areas. We certainly don't want these special places to become lionfish sanctuaries! I am sure the park managers in Cozumel feel the same way. In fact, we have worked very closely with the marine park in Cozumel to organize and conduct numerous workshops both in Cozumel and along the mainland to educate divers, fishers and the public about the lionfish issue and to encourage removals of lionfish. As the invasion status progresses, rules and regualtions often change as well and your best bet is always to check with local marine managers to get the latest. The contact page for the marine park in Cozumel is http://arrecifescozumel.conanp.gob.mx/contacto.php and you can find links to other info about the park from that site as well.
Let us know if you need more info or have any other specific questions.
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