Feeding Lionfish to Reef Sharks - Video

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sharklionf.jpg

Here's some video of us feeding Lionfish to Reef Sharks in the Bahamas. The sharks show no hesitation in taking the Lionfish and often come back for more. Hope they are learning... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ashr3e361YI

Feeding lionfish

I'm not too sure how wise this is.  Won't the sharks start seeing snorkelers/divers as a source of food?  What if the free diver is trying to catch his own dinner?  I can see killing the liionfish and leaving them behind for the sharks to find, but feeding them encourages unnatural behavior and doesn't seem wise.  This video would almost make me too nervous to hunt lionfish in the Bahamas

Also, a word of warning for Floridians:  Feeding any marine life is illegal in Florida, even when it comes to the lionfish issue.  The FWC is encouraging divers to kill lionfish and they may be left behind for the convenience of the diver, but divers are not being asked to feed lionfish to other marine life.

Sharks and Lionfish

This was a regular shark feeding site before we started feeding the sharks lionfish. So far the sharks haven't started associating humans with handouts, they still only associate dead fish with handouts. You can snorkel all over this spot and if you're lucky an uninterested shark or two will pass by. But the moment you spear a fish about five very interested Reef Sharks will move in.

When diving any other reef in the Bahamas you will see the same thing: sharks totally oblivious to your presence until you spear a fish.

It's interesting to note that the sharks that are used to being fed are much more well-behaved around people with speared fish than sharks that aren't accustomed. These sharks will swim by very close, but move slowly and calmly. Whereas, sharks that aren't fed will often lower their pecs, start swimming erratically and dart in and out quickly to steal a divers catch.

Unfortunately once a lionfish sinks to the bottom the sharks lose interest. We're hoping to wean them off taking Lionfish right from the spear.

Don't let this video discourage you from hunting lionfish here. Our sharks aren't that bad - even if you get a curious one usually a couple pokes on the snout will send it on its way. If you're really worried do what most Bahamian divers do and tow a small boat or cooler to put your catch in. Then you won't have to worry about any sharks. Some divers also have a one spot, one fish rule, always on the move so they can stay ahead of the sharks.

Louis

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