(DiverWire) Two major organizations in the recreational scuba diving industry have recently joined forces to help educate the public about the dangers of the lionfish invasion currently happening in Florida and the Caribbean.
Earlier this week, the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) release a video public service announcement aimed at providing effective basic first aid instructions for Lionfish related injuries.
According to a DEMA official, “The PSA is in response to the increasing number of reported injuries which have been attributed to the species’ alarming population increase and invasion into nonnative waters.”
The :30 second PSA provides divers with fundamental knowledge on how to immediately and effectively treat an injury sustained due to a Lionfish encounter . The PSA is available online on the Be A Diver YouTube channel and viewers are encouraged to share the PSA with others. The PSA is already being used on Cayman Islands television.
“With the Lionfish population growing at an alarming rate, encounters are far more frequent than what we have seen in the recent past and it is imperative for divers to equip themselves with proper first aid knowledge,” explained Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “By creating this campaign with our partners at DAN, we hope to empower divers with the knowledge necessary to quickly and properly handle an encounter with the venomous Lionfish.”
Lionfish are an invasive species already spread throughout the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Their simple presence along with organized culling increases the likelihood of envenomation by recreational divers and fishermen.You can find more detailed information about the Lionfish Invasion and how you can help at www.reef.org/lionfish.