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Feeding lionfish to our pet eel

By Slickrock Adventures on March 25, 2014

lionfish hunting

We have written extensively in the past about hunting lionfish at our island at Glover’s Reef in Belize. Although our island is in a national marine reserve where fishing other than catch-and-release is outlawed, we are allowed to spear the invasive lionfish. The lionfish at Glover’s Reef are a huge problem – but we do what we can to keep their numbers down, especially near our island.

Our February kitesurf instructor, Jasmine Ardeshiri, sent this great picture that she took on a snorkel last month. We have a favorite eel who lives at a certain coral head very near our island. When we spear lionfish, we like to take them to this eel and feed them to him. We are trying to teach the eels that lionfish are a very good thing to eat. That’s one of the reasons that lionfish are such a scourge in the Caribbean – because they are invasive, they have no natural predators. Our eel loves lionfish! Even though the spines are toxic to us (and we have to be very careful how we handle them) they don’t bother the eel at all; he gobbles them right up.

In the photo, our eel is just about to pounce on the fatally injured lionfish. This is definitely a win-win! That is, for everyone except the lionfish.