Belize Boys’ Trip: Lionfish Hunting

I’m lucky to have been included in an annual boys’ trip to Belize where we go scuba diving every day. The main activity we engage in while scuba diving is hunting lionfish.

The lionfish backstory has been told many times before. Here is the short version. Lionfish are not indigenous in the Caribbean Sea. They are native to the Indian Ocean and were, reportedly, introduced here when an aquarium owner dumped his captive fish somewhere in Florida. The voracious eaters of other reef fish had no natural predators on this side of the world and rapidly spread south. As a result, many places, including Belize, allow taking lionfish in areas usually closed to fishing of any kind.

Lionfish have sharp spines that are covered with a toxin so be careful when handling them.

The good news is that they taste great! On our trip to Belize we ate lion fish and chips, lionfish a la crème and lionfish ceviche. Fresh fish is always the best and an ample daily catch kept us satisfied.

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