Aruba LionFish Initiative began dedicated LionFish operations in January 2017
In 2016, a small group of volunteers dedicated to managing the LionFish population on Aruba outlined a concept for a sustainable system of removing LionFish from Aruba’s reef. This system would provide for gathering the necessary scientific data for the international LionFish marine biology community in an effort to find more effective and humane methods of removal.Further, this system would establish a real market for LionFish on Aruba.
The central focus of which is to establish and maintain an on going supply of LionFish to restaurants for consumption, education and awareness of this problem. This “LionFish fishery” would create new markets for LionFish on Aruba while investing in new and more productive ways to remove the LionFish to assist in maintaining the natural reef balance.
LionFish Initiative was born as an exclusive LionFish program under the direction and control of the Aruba Reef Care Foundation operated by this core group of volunteers. They are now known as the ALFI Reef Rangers!
ALFI Reef Rangers and other culling volunteers must scuba dive to depths up to 40 meters or 120 feet to locate and remove LionFish. It is labor and time intensive to catch LionFish.
One 45 minute shore dive could take up to 3 hours to execute when you consider travel time, 20 minute swim out and back to reef and then the actual dive.