What a day … It all went down hill after accidentally getting stung by a lionfish. The pain is said to be about 50x worse than a wasp sting.
While hunting lionfish, Leslie Cruz-Rogers, got to experience a fist sting by a lionfish. Lionfish are an invasive species of fish that are invading our reefs and devouring our reef's native fish including snapper and young groupers at an alarming rate. Lionfish can be found as seep as 1000ft and they eat up to 90% of body weight in fish every day.
As of now, the lionfish invasion is spreading throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico an the Southern Atlantic cost of the US. Lionfish are native to the South pacific and Indian ocean and have no natural predators in these areas. Therefore, their populations have been exploding.
In order to help control the exponential increase of lionfish populations lionfish hunting competitions are being held and initiatives are being funded to educate the public about this problem and educate folks about how tasty lionfish are. The thought being, to make lionfish more of a staple in our seafood diet. Apparently its working. Lionfish are increasing in demand by restaurants and fish markets and becoming profitable for fishermen.
Thus far, the most effective way to control lionfish populations is for divers to catch them. However, the proper equipment must be used. Llionfish have poisonous spines that can sting and cause a great deal of pain, as Leslie finds out in the video below.
Leslie explains, the video was taken before the invention of proper lionfish hunting gear such as the ZooKeeper and the Lionfish Slayer. The Zookeeper is a plastic device that safely stores or contains lionfish underwater and protects divers from lionfish stingers and the Lionfish Slayer, an adaptation of a pole spear which makes capturing lionfish much easier.
In the video below Leslie was using a mesh catch container and accidentally bumped into the bag during the dive and was stung. And as stated earlier the pain can be 50x as painful as a wasp's sting.