I shot this video off the coast of Puerto Morelos in Mexico. We were diving a shipwreck called the C-53. The shipwreck attracts a lot of sea creatures. One of the underwater creatures the shipwreck hosts is the Red Lionfish.
Lionfish are classified as invasive species throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. They are native to coral reefs in tropical waters from the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Lionfish are responsible for decimating reef populations due their insatiable eating habits and rapid breeding rates in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Unlike Lionfish in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Lionfish have very few predators in the Atlantic waters.
It is unknown how the Lionfish arrived to the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. There are many unproven theories on how Lionfish arrived in the Caribbean waters. Scientist began to notice them in the Atlantic in the mid-1980’s. Many people have speculated the fish was either released from hobbyist aquariums or from the ballast of water of ships.
Lionfish have venomous spines that can be very painful to humans. It’s spine contains venom that it uses to protect itself. Most humans come in contact with the venom while they are filleting the fish. Many municipalities allow scuba divers to hunt Lionfish in the Caribbean, Mexico and along the eastern coast of North and South America.