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Any thoughts on why there isn’t a bounty on lionfish

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by lowlysubaruguy, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. ystrout

    ystrout Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: San Diego
    Probably because taxpayers don't want to pay people to shoot fish.

    An easy solution would be to allow commercial sale of lionfish by anyone and not require an Saltwater Products license (in Florida). I don't know what the demand for lionfish meat is, but commercializing it more would help.
    Doc likes this.
  2. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Okay. Come down to Florida and see how many you catch within recreational depths. I'll bet you'll have a hard time filling a zookeeper.

    Now imagine how things would look if no one was hunting them. The ecosystem would be totally screwed, but divers are keeping their numbers in accessible range in check. It's all a matter of buying time until the local fish catch up.

    The "wasting your time" attitude is ridiculous. It also defies logic that man can't impact a species. There's a reason we have fishing regulations.

    I did my first four dives of the year last weekend. We didn't find any. In the past we would see a few every dive.
  3. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Did you click on the links I have shared in this thread?
  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    There isn’t a bounty on lionfish because it isn't necessary. They're already being hunted anywhere that divers dive. You've got to go to technical depths to find them in bulk now days. Some people hunt because they want to "do the right thing". Some people hunt because they want to eat lionfish. Some people hunt because they want to make money selling lionfish. Those incentives seem to be doing the trick already. I doubt any government run bounty program would be paying enough to get tech divers running down to 300' to harvest the nasty little critters so it would be paying people to do what they're already doing for other reasons.

    That's my guess.
    woodcarver and CuzzA like this.
  5. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Agreed, but FWC does have a bounty on them. Top prize is $5k.
  6. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    This has always been exactly my thought on this--based on some things I've read (I've never seen a lionfish in all my winters on the FL panhandle, but don't at all doubt the evidence that they are a big problem). Though I don't know where you would find any statistics to prove divers spearing them to be effective or not. Anyone know of any?
    I also agree with ystrout about the lack of a bounty, but would word it "The state govts.' want to take your money, not give you some" --especially for spearing something that you can eat and apparently is quite tasty.
  7. woodcarver

    woodcarver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Bounties don't always get the job done. The nutria in the SE swamps would be a good example. As the gator population expands, nutria in those areas diminish. Based on potential reproductive rates of the lionfish, it seems like something has to be eating some of them. My brother saw a green moray take a small, live one. He's also had a few stolen off his ELF by morays, obviously not so alive. The reports of them being found in snappers and groupers is encouraging.
  8. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    To me the issue that suggests lionfish culls will never be totally successful is the fact that they reside at depths beyond normal recreational dive limits. With this as a refuge and their extreme fecundity, there will "always" be a population uncontrolled that can replenish fish at shallower depths, but more importantly come to dominate deeper depths. Shallow water reefs may see limited numbers but deeper water fish will continue to be hammered by them.
    BCSGratefulDiver and TMHeimer like this.
  9. 100days-a-year

    100days-a-year Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: NE Florida
    Over and above the ones deeper than most peole dive,there is the fact most people hammer the same named spots repeatedly instead of hitting different ones.This leads to the perception that areas are now devoid,when all you normally need to do is dive a little as 100 yds away.
    BCSGratefulDiver, kelemvor and Doc like this.
  10. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Yeah, but you're not considering the other unknown divers who hit the spot 100 yards away. Anecdotally I did eight dives this past week, 7 of which were on new spots, and I only saw one. The other 6 divers over the course of these two days did 2-6 dives each, again on new spots and nobody saw a single one.

    They just taste too damn good.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

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