Lionfish have arrived on St.Maarten


Our worst fears have materialized when we received a reliable report of a lionfish sighting in St. Maarten waters on Thursday July 15th 2010. The sighting was reported by Sally Davies of Octopus Diving on the ‘Bridge’ dive site approximately 50 feet deep.

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Photographs were taken and a positive ID was confirmed, with Christophe Joe of the Reserve Naturelle St. Martin also confirming the sighting. The specimen seems to be a juvenile approximately two to four inches in length.

I have received unconfirmed reports of the species being in Saba as well.

I would like to appeal to all dive centres and fishermen that if a lionfish is seen the location should be noted, the depth, activity of the specimen, water temperature etc. as outlined in the Lionfish Response Plan. The Nature Foundation will attempt to collect every specimen reported. Please use caution when handling these animals as they can inflict a dangerous sting.

If there is a need for any additional information do not hesitate to contact Tadzio Bervoets on his cell phone +5995270490.