The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is at the forefront of the controlling the lionfish invasion in the territorial waters of St. Maarten. On July 15th 2010, the first lionfish was spotted on St. Maarten and the lionfish response plan soon went into effect.
The Indo-Pacific Lionfish has been introduced in the Caribbean in 1998 and has since been advancing throughout the region. Its voracious appetite is a threat to all juvenile reef fish.
In its efforts to manage and control the infestation, the Nature Foundation has distributed lionfish collection materials to the various dive centers and fishermen. Lionfish are an invasive species that were introduced into the Caribbean through the aquarium trade. The fish is a threat to local fisheries because they have the potential to destroy local fishing grounds and the economies which depend on them. The lionfish is also a venomous species which can inflict a very dangerous sting.
If someone is stung by a lionfish, heat should be applied directly to the wound and medical attention should be sought immediately.
Twice a year, the Nature Foundation also holds a lionfish derby were great prizes can be won. Check our Facebook page and our news for announcements.