Beautifully dangerous

Lionfish

Lionfish in the Philippines

A recent post on NPR about lionfish reminded me of my lionfish stories.  During my first few years of scuba diving, I came across lionfishes in the Gulf of Mexico, Thailand..etc, and I thought the creature are quite elegant and unique.  Little did I know lionfishes are predator and their venomous spines can be poisonous to human.  I am not going into why they are invasive, you can look that up yourself.  There are more and more of them now in the Atlantic ocean from New York to Venezuela, according to NPR.  One time I did a live aboard diving in southern CA, and one of the older man on the boat told me “it is legal here in CA to kill a lionfish.  They are good for nothing.”  I responded back with a good “yes sir”.

Shown here is a clip of the New Girl episode in an aquarium where Schmidt wanted a lionfish and the worker mentioned the fish is protected (???).  Really?  You must be kidding me.  We can not get rid of them fast enough before they multiply like weed.  I know they use the fish as a metaphor to imply how easily the character can fall in love with beautiful and exotic creature but lionfish?  That’s not cool. I am not sure if he did or did not release the fish into CA ocean at the end of the episode.  I hope not.

In one of the dives in the Philippines, I saw a nest of at least 10 lionfishes.  I think they were breeding.  After the dive, I had a casual conversation with my dive guide and we talked about lionfish.  I mentioned that they are invasive and not welcome in CA but my guide was so adamant that they are friendly and not invasive.  The conversation somewhat ended there.

Next time you dive, beware of beautiful creatures!

-D-

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