Lionfish Hunting

Lionfish Hunting

Diver and Lionfish

Lionfish harvesting is allowed in most areas other than the Sanctuary Protection Areas (SPA)

An invasive species Lionfish can decimate a reef of its native fish life. Experts at Reef.org do not believe that we will ever remove these fish from our waters but we sure are up for getting the numbers reduced!

Some Amazing Lionfish Facts!

Since 1985 the population of Lion Fish has grown massively see this interactive invasion timeline showing the spread of Lionfish starting in Miami and spreading through Florida and the Caribbean.

One adult lion fish can consume up to 60 native fish a day

An adult lion Fish can produce up to 2 million baby lion fish per year

Baby Lion Fish start hunting and consuming native reef fish after 3 days

The largest record lionfish measured a little over 47.7cm or 19.5 inches and was speared near Islamorada, Florida in the United States

When Lionfish hunt they blow water over their prey to disorientate them!

Permits Required

Lionfish hunting in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary  does not require a special permit where fishing is normally allowed.

You will need a Permit to catch Lion fish in the Sanctuary Preservation Areas. See this article in Keys weekly for permits.

Hand nets or slurp guns only, no Spearguns or pole spears within the Sanctuary area.

We also have areas outside the Sanctuary where pole spears are allowed.

In all cases you should attend a Lion fish safe handling and collection workshop with Reef.org

Lionfish Derbies

Reef.org has organized yearly  Lion fish Hunting derbies  where teams compete to get the most, biggest and smallest Lionfish.   If you would like to take place in these derbies we are able to take you on our boat.  Call us for details!

Lion fish Hunting Trips

Exclusive Lion fish hunting trips for groups who want to help clear the reef of Lion fish as well!

Trips are full boat charters only and are $550 for half a day plus tanks at $5 per tank.

The boat will take you to places that we have either found Lion fish previously or where we have had recent reports of lion fish sightings.

Our recent experience (2020) is that they are found either in deeper water over 50 feet or in shallow water around 10 feet.

Remember that Lion fish have no natural predator in our waters and if we do not help clear them they will over run the reefs

Check out this brief from reef.com on the results of the September 2020 Derby which saw over 1300 Lion fish removed from the reef.

License Requirements

Fishing license is not required for recreational fishers targeting lion fish while using a device that is specifically designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish.

Rental equipment

As always we can provide SCUBA rental gear. Lionfish hunting specific equipment can be purchased at the shop such as nets and pole spears.

And Finally…

Here is an interesting article from NOAA about deep water traps for Lionfish.

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