The Lions of Belize 2017

WAVES volunteer Richard shares his Lionfish hunting experience in Belize. He said his camera wasn’t set for underwater photos, but these turned out to be very interesting!

 After signing up for a SouthWest Air, “Companion Fly’s FREE!! Promotion, it was off to Belize to complete another bucket list item.

We chose an economy package on St George’s Caye. A little rustic, but the over water bungalows had great AC. All the meals where family style and delicious. The catch of the day was provided by a guest, either fishing from a boat or from Scuba divers hunting for the invasive species the Lion fish*.

 *Pterois is a genus of venomous marine fish, commonly known as lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific. Also called zebrafishfirefishturkeyfishtastyfish or butterfly-cod.

These guys have no natural enemies in this environment, so they are very easy to photograph and hunt. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that my camera wasn’t set for underwater use.  My routine was “smile for the camera then I’ll skewer you for dinner”. The Dive Master & I caught 19 Lionfish in two dives. Some we would feed to a shark and others were fed to the Eels and the grunts.

 But the rest of these beautiful and very hazardous fish ended up on the menu. They have a taste and texture similar to Chilean Sea Bass. But an extremely painful sting if you are unlucky enough to get that close.

So grab your dive gear, and cash in your air miles.

But start enjoying your Buck List, before it springs a leak!

Good Divin, Be Safe.

Richard S.