Chasing Lionfish

While diving Islamorada this year we happened to run out of reef and drifted over the sand bottom of the Atlantic. There we were greeted by three remora as well as an abandoned lobster pot. Structures in large areas devoid of places for juvenile fish to hide are typically teaming with life. And that was certainly the case for this lobster pot.

To our surprise, it was the makeshift home for two lionfish. We don’t normally hunt this invasive species with a spear gun, but since we were hunting grouper and hogfish earlier, it was all we had. My dive partner holding the bag has a great deal of experience capturing volitans in the Pacific, hence his indifference to the poisonous spines the lionfish uses to protect itself. However, I can say I have never seen him move so quickly while diving when the lionfish mistook him for a hiding place (starts at 1:30).

Chasing Lionfish – Islamorada, FL from Christopher Smart on Vimeo.

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