January was the month for lionfish hunting in the waters around Salt Cay. Dive Master Richard and the Scheller Tribe (Arnie, Sonia, Mat, Jessie and George) spent many underwater hours with their hawaiian slings, protective gloves and a specially designed bag for capturing the lion fish they found. Approximately 25-30 lion fish were taken from the reef during this Underwater Safari by the Scheller Tribe.
A Lionfish is any of several species of venomous marine fish in the genera Petrois, Parapterois, Brachypterois, Ebosia or Dendrochirus, of the family Scorpaenidae. The lionfish is also known as the Turkey Fish, Scorpion or Fire Fish. They are notable for their extremely long and separated spines, and have a generally striped appearance, red, green, navy green, brown, orange, yellow, black, maroon, or white. (from Wikipedia).
Lionfish are predators of all the reef fish and have very few natural predators themselves. They are known to increase in number and wipe out large numbers of other fish if not kept under control. With this in mind, Arnie & Sonia Scheller and their family assisted Divemaster Richard from Salt Cay Divers in lessening the lionfish population around Salt Cay.
Lionfish are not usually agressive toward humans and will keep their distance when given the opportunity. Their sting is not deadly but extremely painful. With caution Richard and the Schellers proceeded to bag these beautiful but poisionous lionfish and protect the reef fish around Salt Cay.
Extreme care was taken both in grabbing the lionfish with the hawaiian sling and then in placing the lionfish into the bag so that no one would get stung by these venomous fish.
If you are an experienced diver and interested in helping protect the reef from the voracious lionfish, contact Debbie at Salt Cay Divers.
The Schellers return the end of March and Salt Cay Divers thanks them and looks forward to their continued efforts battling the ever increasing population of lionfish off the island of Salt Cay.