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Lionfish Spotted in Bonaire Waters

The following was reported by Susan Davis of the Bonaire Insider:

Tuesday, two recreational divers found a juvenile lionfish at the northern dive site, Nukove.  As requested by STINAPA, they mapped the location and shot confirming video, and then reported the sighting to the Bonaire National Marine Park.

The rangers moved into action and immediately went to the site to remove the fish.  The divers’ map was excellent, and rangers were able to immediately locate the fish for capture.

The spread of the lionfish through the Caribbean has been viewed as a scourge, but there is hope for Bonaire, as the average Bonaire diving visitor is better informed than in nearly any other dive destination in the Caribbean or Atlantic.  This has been proved by REEF statistics which state that Bonaire supplies over 16,000 of the 100,000+ dive surveys in this region, which includes the Atlantic, and which is just over 16% of the total.  This statistic is remarkable and may prove to be to Bonaire’s benefit if the island’s visiting divers can keep sighting lionfish so that Marine Park rangers may capture them and remove them from the local habitat. (Source:  Bonaire Talk, Jerry Ligon)

Note Update October 28, 2009: The Bonaire National Marine Park received a second call with a lionfish sighting on Tuesday, October 27th.  This one was a larger individual and was located just south of the dive site, Something Special.  By 3:00 PM the same day, Din and Joi of the marine park rangers were able to locate and capture this second individual.  All divers are asked to keep their eyes open and immediately alert STINAPA/Bonaire National Marine Park if they see any lionfish.  Divers should do their best to map the site and note the depth, and images and/or video are also helpful.  (Source:  Bonaire National Marine Park)

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