Lionfish Research

Lionfish Research at Almond Beach Resort

Overview of the Project

Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are top level predators among the coral reefs and rocky shores of the Indo-Pacific.  Their accidental introduction into the Atlantic in 1985 set the stage for an ecological disaster on a scale that the Caribbean has never seen before.  The lack of native predators and the 18 venomous spines used for defense make lionfish a significant threat to the ecological stability of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.  With females producing up to 2 million eggs per year they can quickly overtake the entire barrier reef. They have the potential to collapse commercial fisheries of economically important species like grouper and snapper.  Their destructive nature may also diminish the aesthetic beauty of the coral reef ecosystem as they overconsume the fish on the reef that control algae growth.

Methods

Lionfish are collected by spearing the fish while snorkeling or scuba diving.  When lionfish are collected the location of the snorkel or dive site is noted. Once the boat returns to shore additional data is collected.  The fish mass, snout to tail length, mouth gape and stomach contents are recorded. This information will help researchers understand the lionfish population size as well as the potential ecological impact that they are having upon the southern portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

What We Have Learned:

coming soon – results of our May Coral Reef Trip

How You Can Become Involved

  1. Enroll in an Inspire EdVenture lionfish hunting trip to Belize
  2. Coordinate a group trip to Belize to hunt lionfish
  3. Participate in a lionfish hunt with Almond Beach
  4. Sponsor a student who will be part of a lionfish hunt in Belize
  5. Ask for lionfish at a restaurant that serves seafood
  6. Buy lionfish jewelry to promote additional harvesting of lionfish

Learn More: 

Want to Take an Edventure?


last updated Oct 19, 2018