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#328227 - 03/13/09 10:05 PM First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize
Marty Offline

The commotion was at the Amigos del Mar pier on Thursday, March 12, as dive master Michael Hancock caught the first live Lion Fish in Belize. Michael was on his last dive at Vicente Dive Site by Turneffe when he spotted the Lion Fish. “I was re-surfacing because my oxygen tank was near empty when I spotted the fish,” commented Hancock to Ambergris Today.

“So I threw a T-shirt at the fish and as it was about to escape I reached for it and that was when it stung my left hand.”

The fish was brought back to the island and was placed in a ice cooler where people gathered at the dock to marvel at the beautiful, but deadly fish. It will be handed over to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Mikey will earn $50 for catching the most wanted fish in Belize. Good enough to help pay some bills!

Ambergris Today

#328256 - 03/14/09 01:13 AM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: Marty]
Short Offline
The 1st predatory lionfish is caught in Belizean waters

In January of this year, News Five reported on a predatory fish that infiltrated our Caribbean waters. The Fisheries Department and others offered rewards for anyone who catches the Lionfish, dead or alive. There have been reports of sightings of the fish in the Turneffe and Glover’s Cayes and tonight we can report that diver, Michael Hancock of the Amigos del Mar Diving Shop in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, has caught one of the much wanted predators. Hancock caught the lionfish while on a routine diving tour near the Turneffe atoll. The approximately seven inches long, adult lionfish is now being held under observation at the only salt water aquarium in the island. Biologist for the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Kirah Forman, says the chances for the invasive fish specie to survive are slim because of the way it was caught.

Kirah Forman, Biologist, Hol Chan Marine Reserve

“We went out to verify that it was indeed a lionfish that they have caught. Since then we’ve reported the incident to the Fisheries Department, we’ve placed the fish in the aquarium at Captain Sharks and we don’t know if it is going to survive as yet, but we have it here. While bringing the fish from the bottom, the change in pressure is what cause its air bladder to inflate and so we had to deflate the air bladder in order for it to dive back down again. But for a long time it was basically swimming upside down.”

Duane Moody
“I know earlier this year when there was the first sighting of the lionfish it was said by the Fisheries Department that you should kill it when you see it. Why is it that this one has not been killed?”

Kirah Forman
“Well, it’s the first one so there's going to be a lot of interest surrounding this one and so it’s just that everyone wants to get a chance to look at it. It might die later on today, we don’t know, but in any event, it will not be let go again. Its next move from here is it will be dead.”

James Ritchie, Owner, Captain Sharks Marine Centre
“It’s sick it was brought up from deep so they’re not sure. We’re gonna see if it lasts a few days and see what happens. It had air in its stomach so they had to make a hole to let the air out and when they’re in environments like this when you injure a fish and remove scales, they tend to get sick.”

Duane Moody
“He got stung by the fish. I understand it’s swollen, could you expound on that? Do you know what occurred?”

James Ritchie
“Well, since he was diving he didn’t have a net or anything to catch it so he took off his t-shirt, wrapped it in his t-shirt. Since it has long spines, it penetrated the t-shirt and went into his hand. His hand is swollen, but I don’t think it’s too serious. I think it’s good to let people come and see it alive to let them know it’s out there because we didn’t really know. We heard about it so it’s true. We have it right here and we can prove it.”

Duane Moody
“From your experience do you feel that this fish is going to live?”

James Ritchie
“No, it should be swimming around but it’s lying on the bottom so maybe a day, two days and then it will end up back at old Chan.”

Kirah Forman
“In the meantime it’s there, it will not be released from the aquarium at.”

The lionfish is an aggressive feeder that eats fishes up to twice and has been causing damage to the Caribbean ecosystem.

Live and let live

#358565 - 11/22/09 04:05 AM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: Short]
seashell Offline
Did this captured lionfish make it?
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#358568 - 11/22/09 08:51 AM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: seashell]
elbert Offline
Old news seashell, these guys are everywhere now. not really uncommon anymore. must be true about how they invade and take over they went from rare to common in just half a season.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#359080 - 11/25/09 04:33 PM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
We just now caught this one at the dock.
keeping it alive for a little while or for the highest bidder.

Edited by elbert (11/25/09 04:34 PM)
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#359101 - 11/25/09 06:00 PM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
still alive and the lines are open!
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#359110 - 11/25/09 07:10 PM Re: First Lion Fish Caught Alive in Belize [Re: elbert]
seashell Offline
Hope you get a bite, er nibble, er . . .

Well, heck, there has to be some way to make the removal of this pest an equitable past-time.

As I've said before, I really enjoyed seeing the lionfish in their native environment, but I'm not going to enjoy seeing Caribbean native fish decimated. As it is, it's hard enough to see groupers in many places.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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