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Snorkeling & Lionfish?

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Snorkeling & Lionfish?

We are booked to spend Spring break at Seascape Inn in Andros and noted one person's comments about lionfish. Learning more about lionfish prompts this question--will we be able to enjoy snorkeling in Andros? Will avoiding lionfish, or noting the impact of the lionfish in the area (voracious eaters of other fish that they are) mean that our snorkeling pleasure will be seriously affected? Serious question here. Thanks.

Brooklyn, New York
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1. Re: Snorkeling & Lionfish?

You sound like me. I am so antsy that I sent this email to this pretty cool guy who has a website re-lionfish lionfishhunter.com

Dear Hunter Man Maurice,

I am impressed with your prowess! I am going with my family to Staniel and Fowl Cay next March and needless to say am FREAKED about these fish. Until your site I had no idea they could get that huge. We love snorkeling and I live in fear that one of my kids could get stung. Last March we were in Provo on Grace Bay and my first venture out to the small reef close to the shore immediately revealed a pair of them (I hope they were not a mating pair). So, do you know how bad the infestation is in the Exumas? When we snorkel I plan on bringing a thermos filled with water as hot as I can keep it. I wish there was a bounty on these beasts! I would most definitely donate to a fund!

His response below:

These fish are not aggressive. They just sit there and look pretty. You should not fear them. Show your kids what they look like and you will be fine. We hunt these fish twice a week for 2 years and only one guy got stung once. He only got stung because he did something foolish. I would love for you guys to give me a report on any lionfish you find and I will try to get some hunters out there to get them. I have hunters on all the islands who report their findings to me. Have fun. these fish are harmless to humans if you are just snorkeling around. They are as aggressive as a sea fan. Your friend, Maurice

Edited: 14 January 2010, 00:42
Nassau, New...
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2. Re: Snorkeling & Lionfish?

We live in the Bahamas and snorkel and fish frequently, and while we have seen lionfish, they have shown little interest in us. You should not worry about them and enjoy your snorkeling.

One side note -- lionfish is delivious! There are several restaurants in Nassau now serving them. Mild, sweet and very tasty. They obviously need to be cleaned with care, but since only the spines are poisonous, the rest of the fish is well worth eating.

So rather than a bounty on them, the plan seems to be to eat them as the new grouper or snapper!

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3. Re: Snorkeling & Lionfish?

Thanks SO much for the replies. Has the fish population in the Bahamas (Andros in particular) been impacted by the presence of the lionfish? I know that has been a major concern since they are voracious eaters of other fish.

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4. Re: Snorkeling & Lionfish?

Fishing was not good in February, I will say, but it was because of the cold weather, I believe, not predatory lionfish.

You may see lionfish but they are not aggressive and if you just don't touch them, you should not have any problems with them.

5. Re: Snorkeling & Lionfish?

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