It’s time to sweat the small stuff.
While the Cayman Islands is faced
with monumental issues with the economy, there is a small menace lurking in our
Invasive lionfish are threatening
our very way of life from fishing to tourism.
The Department of Environment has
been taking the menace seriously and is now appealing to residents in each
district to help take up the fight.
believe the Volitans lionfish, Pterois volitans, entered the Atlantic when
Hurricane Andrew cracked open a private oceanside aquarium in Miami in 1992
where six fish escaped into the bay.
descendents of those fish infested the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic and
the Antilles, following the path of the Caribbean’s clockwise current and
arriving off Mexico’s Caribbean coast early last year.
they are here and are wreaking havoc.
believe a single lionfish can wipe out a patch of a reef in only five weeks.
the bad news.
good news is that they are edible.
Cayman Islands Department of Environment and licensed cullers have already
removed more than 1,500 of the invasive fish from our waters, but even the
efforts of the 350 people eligible to kill the fish aren’t enough to eradicate
DoE is looking for more people to help in the fight.
will be held in each of the districts beginning Saturday at East End and
continue through 26 June in other districts.
DoE is looking for divers, swimmers, snorkellers, fishermen and women – anyone
concerned about the Cayman Islands the well-being of our precious reefs to
attend the meetings and lend a hand.
goal is quite simple – to remove as many lionfish as possible so they will quit
eating our fish and to give our fish time to adapt to this invasive species so
they won’t get eaten.
have observed one lionfish eating 20 small fish is less than 30 minutes.
Let’s join the DoE in its quest to
get rid of these pesky fish and get the cooking pan ready. For a recipe, see
Page 6 of today’s Compass.