This past winter season Maho Bay Camps had a resident lionfish killer living among us, as every other day or so we'd hear tales about the latest kill just off Little Maho, Big Maho or Francis. Lately all has been quiet in terms of kill counts around here, which is either really good or really bad, Good: there are no lionfish around the area or Bad: nobody is out in the area making the kills.
Those not familiar with our fight against this invasive species can find plenty of great information on the CORE Foundation website and their Facebook Page. As bad as it is to find these fish, and as little hope as I & others have for complete eradication in the area, I have been enjoying the updates with pictures of each "search & destroy" mission.
It also appears that the VI Government is starting to step forward with some ideas as well with a bill "authorizing the V.I. Agriculture Department to distribute, manage and operate legislative appropriations for lionfish management."
As a reminder for those on a first visit to Maho, if you do see one in the water while snorkeling please do something about it! At the very least tell others and/or someone here at Maho, most likely one of our staff would love to go get it. But you can also go back out and drop a marker on it and call the National Park or CORE, better yet carry a marker with you while snorkeling (available at our Activities desk as well as Watersports). While absolutely beautiful to see one underwater while snorkeling, they're worth much more to our ecosystem dead than alive!
The photo pictured above is from a catch at Reef Bay last month, this one was one of 3 that we found that day. All 3 were hanging out under the same overhanging shelf of coral, in perhaps 12 feet of water. Unfortunately we were only able to kill 2 of the 3, the one pictured above being the biggest.