[Coral-List] Lionfish consumption at dive sites

Belize Marine TREC trec at hotmail.com
Sun May 22 08:47:00 EDT 2011

Hi Katherine,
Is it possible that the barracuda and grouper are used to being fed
by the divers?  I know in San Pedro dives are often accompanied by such
fish which the dive masters feed.  I know of dive masters that have been bitten
by barracudas under such circumstances.  I would like to hear from someone who
has seen a lionfish consumed and then knows of the future good health and continued
lionfish feeding by that specific fish.  This may not be as difficult as it sounds since many
dive masters know specific fish that follow them on a regular basis.
Dr. KC Mattes

Date: Sun, 22 May 2011 00:14:31 +1000
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Lion fish consumption
From: katherine.cure at gmail.com
To: trec at hotmail.com
CC: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

The experience is otherwise elsewhere in Belize. 
This week at Half Moon Caye wall in Lighthouse Reef, we had a barracuda and Nassau grouper following divers for the duration of the 60 minute dive, snapping at spears once lionfish were dead. It was actually a bit disturbing to see barracudas getting so close and being fearless, to the point of biting at my spear even when no lionfish were there. 

I believe although it is excellent news that something is eating lionfish (at least after speared by humans) we need to reassess how this is handled, before we end up creating another fish feeding scenario, especially when barracudas are involved.

Katherine Cure

On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Belize Marine TREC <trec at hotmail.com> wrote:

We have been spearing Lionfish almost daily since last year in Belize.
We have offered them to snapper, grouper and morays and have
had no success in getting these fish to consume them.  When left
on the bottom wrasses pick at them.  That is our experience so far.
Also, our limited stomach content analysis has revealed only shrimp.
KC Mattes

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Katherine Cure
Field Coordinator and Coral Reef Biologist
Oceanic Society 
Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll


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