Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lion Fish Hunt Carriacou Jan 2016

Poisonous spines

January 8 2016
We went lion fish hunting with Lumbadive.  I mainly wanted to go diving again - my 5th dive!  There were five of us that used tanks.  Three others went along to snorkel.  Tom carried the bucket for 1/2 the of the dive and then hunted for the rest.  I had the bucket for a short period of time but it was heavy and I am still too new at diving to be handling a bucket filled with poison spined my humble opinion!  I also felt I was still too new to diving to take my underwater camera along so no action pics this go around.  I did help located lion fish and then banged on my dive tank with a metal stick to get the hunters attention.  The visibility wasn't great but we still managed to get a decent size one and several small ones.

Thunderball underwater battle scene
I do have to tell you that at one point all five of us were swimming side by side along the bottom with spear guns and Hawaiian slings ready to go.  All I could think was that we looked like a scene straight out of the James Bond movie Thunderball.  Remember?

Of course the theme song "Thunderball" started playing immediately in my head.  Sort of weird to have Tom Jone's belting out music as you swim along but that was the soundtrack in my head at the time. 
Spines everywhere

Anyway....lion fish.  So what's the big deal?  Poisonous fins/spines!  Can you see them?  Seven in total that must be cut off.  Basically everything but the tail. 
Lion fish (left) contents of it's stomach - another fish (right)

I told you about them last year when Tom went Lion Fish Hunting.  But I didn't realize just how big of an appetite they have.  It's HUGE.  The above little fish (right) was found inside the small lion fish (left).  It's what....1/3+ the size of the lion fish and swallowed whole?  Wow!  

Our haul
Because they are so voracious and thus threatening the reefs of the Caribbean, lion fish hunts kill as many as possible.  It doesn't matter if they are big or small, kill them all.  Of course only the medium to larger lion fish are eaten.  The small ones are too much of a bother to clean and fix.  Be sure to keep an eye out for lion fish on menus in restaurants in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.  Please order it, if you like fish.  It's safe to eat (once the spines are removed), tasty and helps reduce the population.  If we eat more, then people will fish more for them.    
Joanne cleaning up the big one
Diane and Richard hosted a potluck at their house that evening, inviting many of the local ex-pat community and us to sample the lion fish.  It was a fun evening punctuated by good food, great hosts and some interesting characters. 

Lion Fish potluck - pic by Richard

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! They have Lionfish hunts in Belize as well. I have never tasted it but would definitely order if I ever saw it on the menu! Hope you guys catch a ton of those evil creatures.