In celebration of World Oceans Day 2016, Hamanasi’s Marine Dive Team decided to do a Lionfish Hunt. Upon arriving at the dive site, the captain signaled his crew to get ready. In the blink of an eye all five eager hunters were in the water equipped with their scissors, spears and netted bags, leaving behind only the bubbles on the surface of where they were last seen.
Terrill Castillo, Hamanasi’s Adventure Center Manager, and his team of divers hunted 98 lionfish in only 2 dives to celebrate World Oceans Day. “Every opportunity we get to spear lionfish we jump on it. This is just one small token of the love and appreciation we have for our oceans,” said Terrill.
The problem with lionfish is that they are an invasive, non native species in the Caribbean and Atlantic. Here they have no natural predators. They will eat juvenile fish regardless of whether or not they are hungry and can reduce juvenile fish populations by nearly 90% in five weeks! Ocean Support Foundation have been able to track the numbers from 1985 to 2013.
As part of our sustainability policies, Hamanasi introduced the Lionfish Spearfishing Tour in 2012, which has since become a popular adventure for divers. From 2012 to date we have caught 10,935 and will continue our efforts to help eradicate this invasive species in our waters.
One of the bonuses to hunting lionsfish is that they also taste delicious! In 2015 we added lionfish to our menu, with the most popular dish being lionfish ceviche!
Happy World Ocean’s Day 2016 from our Hamanasi Family to yours.