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Lionfish populations

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by BrackaFish, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. BrackaFish

    BrackaFish Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Port Orange Fl
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    Since diving has all but stopped here in the Caymans and I would imagine elsewhere in most of the Caribbean, I was wondering about the Lionfish populations. Normally the DMs and local shore divers do a good job keeping them in check, but I was wondering how bad it will get with that pressure gone.

    Yes we are still here
    upload_2020-3-25_7-9-13.jpeg
     
  2. ColoDale

    ColoDale ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cozumel
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    I expect that here in Cozumel we will see many more. At shallower depths they wre controlled resonably well. There are many more lionfish at 150 feet that will come up easily. Now that some local fishermen are doing it for subsistence they will go after the lionfish as well.
     
    drbill and BrackaFish like this.
  3. Perryed

    Perryed Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    275
    190
    43
    We, as divers, are their only real predators. So they will increase. Fairly quickly too as they are prolific breeders.
     
    BrackaFish likes this.
  4. BrackaFish

    BrackaFish Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Port Orange Fl
    160
    230
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    I guess more RB divers are needed.

    Had we known what was coming, I am sure there could have been some good before and after counts for showing the impact hunting has on the population. Unless there are some stats somewhere, it will be anecdotal at best.
     
    Johnoly likes this.
  5. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    6,363
    5,996
    113
    We killed 11 big lions on our final dive in Cozumel last Friday. Knowing they would have free reign soon encouraged us to go into deco to clean out the most we could while we still could. They were huge for the most part. They were food for scavengers when we got through with them.
     
    BrackaFish likes this.
  6. WeRtheOcean

    WeRtheOcean Nassau Grouper

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    Surely some environmental monitoring program somewhere was tracking the population?
     
    Johnoly likes this.
  7. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,555
    5,506
    113
    The refugia provided by the lionfish populations in deeper water (down to at least 500 fsw) will repopulate the shallower depths. I don't believe this scourge can ever be wiped out even by commercial fishers targeting them.
     
    RayfromTX, Hank49 and grantctobin like this.
  8. BrackaFish

    BrackaFish Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Port Orange Fl
    160
    230
    43
    Dr. Bill. I had the good fortune to work and dive along the Red Sea coast in the late 80s and early 90s. The Lionfish that we saw were smaller and fewer than what I am now seeing. What kept them in check over there? Thanks
     
  9. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,555
    5,506
    113
    Lionfish are native to that region. They evolved within ecosystems that had checks and balances in them (predation, etc.). In the Caribbean they were insertedf into ecosystems that had not evolved with them and therefore had no checks and balances.
     
    BrackaFish and RayfromTX like this.
  10. mi000ke

    mi000ke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
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    We haven’t seen too many on my last several dives before the lock down here on grand cayman. But a tech diver I was talking to a couple of weeks ago said it was lionfish city below 150 feet.
     

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