Several hundred Lionfish have been caught in the waters off St. John in the past year, according to Karl Pytlik. The local organizer of the Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education chapter on the island told the St. John Source he also believes as many as 3,300 Lionfish have been trapped in waters off the other two islands. An official with the territory's Fish and Wildlife Division set the total number much higher, 25,000.
Meanwhile, two St. Thomas residents have begun distributing a documentary about the Lionfish threat to coral and other fish. Paul Deaton and Monica Gephart have been showing Lionfish, the Beautiful Outlaw at movie festivals around the states as well as PBS stations including the VI's WTJX.
You can watch a version of the film here.
Deaton is less alarmist about the Lionfish than some people. He told the Virgin islands Daily News nature has a way of balancing the bad with the good. "Tired of hearing that there are no natural predators," he told the newspaper that sharks, eels, barracuda, octopus and even lobsters can and do eat Lionfish.
In support of his thesis (optimism), Deaton said the number of Lionfish in the Bahamas has stabilized and even fallen in some areas. He said the predators are learning that the spiny fish is tasty.