Lionfish – Beauty&Beast

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As beautiful as they are, they are also very harmful to our reefs here in the Caribbean. Originating in the Pacific Ocean, it is believed they came to us, either from escaping a research tank during a hurricane in florida or in the ballasts of cargo ships. This fish lives for 10-18 years and eats over 70 different species of fish and invertebrates. One lion fish can produce 2 million eggs per year. By them reproducing at this alarming rate, it means without removing them from the reef, reefs eventually will die. Thankfully in most of the caribbean, dive centers all over do spear them. In some islands like Antigua, we try to feed them to sharks, eels and groupers (who are their natural enemies in the pacific). So far these animals are eating them once we kill them. Hopefully they will eventually acquire a taste for them and help us control the invasion. The staff of Antigua Scuba School enjoys them as a meal- they are very tasty! If you cant beat them- EAT them!!

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