The first lionfish was captured in the Virgin islands, off St. Croix, in 2008. Now, says the education outreach coordinator for a group trying to curb the predator, it’s an avalanche.
In a presentation to St. John Rotary this week, Frank Cummings said the lionfish is so common that several thousand have been captured of St. John, alone, the St. John Source reported. (Full story here.)
Cummings said his group, Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education, believes a budget of $200,000 a year would be enough to protect VI waters, and marine life, from the spiny predator. The money would be used to buy response boats, two captains, and six full-time divers.
He said the lionfish will affect tourism in the VIs. Right now thanks to efforts by himself and lifeguards, there are no lionfish at Trunk Bay.