The lion fish has some kind of racket going. Dressed in its extravagant garland, all bright and flashy, it really is one of the prettiest fish in the sea. It’s also an exceptionally dangerous animal, with venous fin rays, and a voracious appetite. The lionfish is considered an invasive species throughout the Caribbean, and has few known natural predators; some groupers are able to feed on lionfish, and sharks are able to consume them without falling victim to the venom in the fins, but otherwise the lionfish are able to reproduce and feed without much disruption.
As a result, the lion fish are likely to be one of the fish you see most often while exploring the underwater realm. I saw dozens of them while exploring The Elbow, one of the most beautiful dive sites in all of Belize. While these fish are undoubtedly beautiful and serve as stunning photographic fodder, they’re also a very real problem in these waters. Numerous eradication and control programs have been launched in recent years, including an innovative program whereby sharks are taught to prey on both juvenile and adult lionfish across their natural range. The resident PADI dive masters and instructors at Blackbird Caye Resort can help you learn more about what you can do to help control the lion fish population.