Belize combats the Lionfish

Long Caye Serves a New Dish

We have Lionfish in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  About 40 years ago, the state of Florida accidentally introduced a voracious predator to the Atlantic Ocean waters:the Lionfish. And so it came to pass that the Caribbean and Belize wound up right in the middle of a Lionfish invasion.

What’s a nation dependent upon aquatic resources to do in light of this scary threat? Apply some good, old-fashioned Belize innovation to the problem: the Belize fishing industry declared war on Lionfish and decided to “repurpose” these prolific intruders by turning the species into both a sporting activity and a food source.

These days, you can come to Belize specifically to participate in Lionfish hunting expeditions that offers the opportunity to use a spear rather than a rod or cages, to snare these creatures. That said, restrictions associated with catching Lionfish are stringent: Both individuals and fisheries must obtain a special license because it’s illegal to use a spear in certain areas off Belize or while scuba diving.

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