[Coral-List] Lionfish in St. Croix

Spring, Keith kspring at conshelf.com
Fri Jan 21 13:46:25 EST 2011

You should feel lucky you have only seen 6 in a week.  It's almost impossible to see fewer than a dozen on a single dive anywhere around New Providence Island, Bahamas (or many other places in the southeastern U.S and Caribbean.  They're here - Get used to it.

Message: 6

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 16:40:28 -0800 (PST)

From: Kynoch Reale-Munroe <kynoch_reale at yahoo.com<mailto:kynoch_reale at yahoo..com>>

Subject: [Coral-List] Lionfish in St. Croix

To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>

Message-ID: <47909.68131.qm at web112720.mail.gq1.yahoo.com<mailto:47909.68131..qm at web112720.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>>

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Hello coral-list community!

I just wanted to share my personal account of witnessing possibly the most

detrimental invasion to marine ecology in history.

I am taken aback by the severity of this invasion. It was one thing to read

about the devastating accounts in the literature, but to watch it happen has

made the hair on my neck stand up.

The first confirmed lionfish in St. Croix, USVI was in Nov. 2008. There was then

a dry spell, followed by a rapid, exponential population explosion. In just over

2 years, we went from routine, strategic lionfish searches resulting in zero (0)

sightings, to extractions on almost every dive.

My husband and I pulled out six (6) lionfish from the bay outside our home in

the last week, all of which were in less than 8 feet of water! The six lionfish

we extracted ranged from approx. 1 to 6 inches in length. Never before had we

even seen one in the last 1.5 years of snorkeling this same bay.

Because of a very small group of amazing people, a lot has been done in an

effort to mitigate the problem here, but I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed.



Kynoch Reale-Munroe

University of the Virgin Islands

V.I Resource Conservation & Development


"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we

understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."

~Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

Keith D. Spring
CSA International, Inc.
8502 SW Kansas Avenue, Stuart, FL 34997
772-219-3000 (main office) 772-219-3019 (direct line)
561-762-6064 (mobile)
kspring at conshelf.com

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