A staffer at the Friends of the Park store, where the fish was kept, said it didn't survive very long despite a voracious appetite. It died and is now in a jar on a shelf. Would that hundreds more of the water-borne eating machines have the same fate.
Every day, swimmers and divers are on the lookout for Lionfish in waters around St. John, according to Karl Pytlik, who heads up local Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education Foundation (CORE) activities. If a Lionfish is found, he says dozens of volunteers are prepared to don masks and slippers and try and catch the fish.
According to Pytlik, one Lionfish can eat as many as 20 other fish in a day.
The President of CORE recently called the lionfish "an eating and breeding machine." Joseph Gulli told an audience at the University of the Virgin Islands a female can lay up to 20,000 eggs at a time, every four days, the St. John Source reported.
Gulli warned that the appetite of the lionfish, combined with its ability to reproduce, threatens the territory's fishing, tourism and diving industries, which he valued at $400 to $500 million. "The Lionfish are going to take all of this away."
The Friends store, as well as St. John Spice, has tools available for people to mark spots where they spy a lionfish. If they make a call to CORE, volunteers can respond and try and catch it.