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Lionfish invading the Mediterranean

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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DiveHacker

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Jun 17, 2020
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We need a manipulation campaign to convince people they are a delicacy. That would clear it up as fast as anything.

It is too bad though because they probably live deep. Any clearing anyone does will just get reinfested from the deeper areas.
 
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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Good thing of today is that the fish tavern bought the big ones. For a weak kiloprice, but heh, was planning to start donating fish for free, so I'm happy. All my friend's freezers are already full and I eat this fish so much that I'm starting to dislike it, so hopefully he likes them and places them on the menu, then I can step up the cleaning of the area.
The tavern-owner said the fish were 'ok' to him. (probably doesn't know how to cook fish...) He won't be selling them when he can sell snapper, swordfish and grouper. He also told me 'you should try catching something else', and when I answered that with a resolute 'No.' and explained that we shouldn't hunt other species, many of which are threatened or endangered, at least until we stabilise this situation he had to agree, yet he continues as he was.

It's moments like these that I want to give up, and be as ignorant as the rest. Oh it must be so nice to not give a fuck. To my depressed brain this would be heaven, but I can't.

We need a manipulation campaign to convince people they are a delicacy. That would clear it up as fast as anything.

It is too bad though because they probably live deep. Any clearing anyone does will just get reinfested from the deeper areas.
Here one of the biggest hurdles is that spearfishing only exists as recreational fishing. So even if you would get a commercial license, which are horribly expensive, you still wouldn't be able to hunt lionfish. So we can get people to taste the fish at these small scale public events, but there will never be commercial demand as the supply is by law impossible to establish.
Yes this also means that most of the groupers in the fish tavernas are backdoor-sales from recreational spearfishermen.

They have been found quite deep indeed. But as far as my observation goes, the greatest concentrations are found in shallow (<15m) water, mainly at headlands with plenty of rocks that provide shelter from the waves. Aka the typical nursing area.
I noticed at places that I keep free of lionfish since December that there is much more life and diversity than in other areas. But indeed, if I skip a week I'm then greeted by a sizeable pack of lionfish. Lionfish are very much like radioactive waste. We're stuck with it for quite a big part of the future and we can't just leave it. We messed it up so it's our responsibility to do what we can to keep the damage under control. Ofc 'we' means the idiots exploiting the Suez canal, who are laughing at us from they gold plated yachts. But as they don't care about the mess they make, I now try to do my part in fixing it. Cleaning up after them.... I hate this world.

The best way at the moment would be to exempt the lionfish from the ban on the sale of recreationally caught fish. It would: give the poor parts of the society a temporary income; stimulate people to go into the water and exercise; make sure that 'the last lionfish' would be caught as well; and best of all: it wouldn't hurt the commercial fishing, in fact it would safeguard their existence!
But that would require a politician to get off his arse and do something, which is not going to happen.
 
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DiveHacker

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
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One of the horrible aspects of humans is it is often considered a badge of honor or a delicacy to eat species that are rare or threatened.

I have this huge problem with the general population sort of pretending they are "green". I just think your average American for example, they put a plastic bottle in a blue trash can and they think they just did something.

Real environmentalism and "being green" comes with costs. We force so many things to be "cool" in modern times. Eating vegan foods, wearing shoes made of all natural materials... there are so many examples. Why on earth can it not be "cool" to eat lionfish?! Questions there are no answers to, and never will be. All part of the human dilemma.
 
J Campbell

J Campbell

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Sep 17, 2001
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Well, it may become "cool" to eat lionfish. It just takes the right celebrity very publicly bragging about how he ate some lionfish and how good it is. He can explain how it's so special because it must be handled with care by the chef or he will get stung - kind of a WOW factor. Or get some of the celebrity chefs to feature it on their menus.
There is no telling why/how some things become "cool". But it is all about social image and wanting to fit in.
 
Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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So I should offer my catch to the city's hipster burger joint instead? Sustainable lionfish burgers, ofc in a menu with an bio-avocado salad and a bottle of overpriced triple marketed tea.
 
J Campbell

J Campbell

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Sep 17, 2001
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So I should offer my catch to the city's hipster burger joint instead? Sustainable lionfish burgers, ofc in a menu with an bio-avocado salad and a bottle of overpriced triple marketed tea.
Exactly! You must be a marketing pro!
 
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Andrew the fish

Andrew the fish

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Oct 17, 2010
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We need a manipulation campaign to convince people they are a delicacy. That would clear it up as fast as anything.
Lionfish is our little secret, eh. Tell nobody. Only select few have a privilege...
 
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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Exactly! You will must be a marketing pro!
I might know just the place... There is actually a cyclists-cafe in Chania. As hipster and trendy as it gets, but still with a Greek core. Like they serve designer coffee and beers-with-strange-names, but under the counter there's also a bottle of raki.
 
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DiveHacker

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
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Open up a lionfish cafe with blazing fast internet. Serve it 100 different ways and let everyone know how green your cafe is. "Save our reefs as you enjoy our blazing fast wifi and fried lionfish fingers".
 
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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Open up a lionfish cafe with blazing fast internet. Serve it 100 different ways and let everyone know how green your cafe is. "Save our reefs as you enjoy our blazing fast wifi and fried lionfish fingers".
If I had the money I would do that for sure! But even then, here in Greece there is legal way of commercially hunting lionfish other than having them as bycatch in nets, as spearfishing is considered only recreational. Backdoor-sales are common, but when a burger store runs exclusively on backdoor-sales that might cause some trouble.
 
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J

Johny Depth

Active Member
Sep 27, 2020
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Thank you for the article,. I shall be looking at this place named Named crete .,Pensioners are always seeking free food the lion fish could be looking at a new address ! in the stomach of a oap.If their 20 ish or 18 year old grand child sought to hunt and cause a new mode with their friends alike numbers of the Lion fish could drop to a near zero the spear could be made from bamboo if it grows wild a new toy for the young generation i used this method for cuttle fish.with a stab technique from abouve into the cuttle fish bone
 
Homerkp

Homerkp

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Sep 21, 2018
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Just thought I'd add this since the thread isn't too old and I figured it's good to have all this documented.
I went to the Mani peninsula in Greece early September (western side) and it was full of lion fish and those other venom-spined vegetarian invasive fish. It was my first time seeing them so I was spooked and stayed away. But yeah I saw 6 or so and wasn't even looking for them. Spreading west and north I guess. Unfortunately the vast majority of fish there were in fact lessepsian migrants. Haven't noticed any in the Corinthian Gulf yet but right on the other side of the canal you see the invasive vegans again.
 
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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Yeah I read a lot of reports of lionfish in Mani. Just checked seatemperature.org for Gytheio and apparently the temps are about the same as southern Crete. So unless people start targeting them, prepare for the worst.

And now with the new lockdown... With spearfishing is again Verboten!, I almost feel like giving up the fight. So far in my area it has been two steps forward and the same two steps backwards.
 
Homerkp

Homerkp

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Yeah I read a lot of reports of lionfish in Mani. Just checked seatemperature.org for Gytheio and apparently the temps are about the same as southern Crete. So unless people start targeting them, prepare for the worst.

And now with the new lockdown... With spearfishing is again Verboten!, I almost feel like giving up the fight. So far in my area it has been two steps forward and the same two steps backwards.
What? But swimming is allowed so I figured spearfishing was too. I know they said no fishing, but did they say no spearfishing specifically?
I got a winter suit 2 days ago so I would at least maintain my hobby if quarantine goes on all winter. :facepalm:
 
Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Well my Greek is still about non-existent, so I have to trust English news outlets and Google Translate. But at least on boatfishing.gr it says that spearfishing and all other forms of recreational fishing and hunting are not allowed during the lockdown. Swimming is, but I guess it's up to the local coast guard when they find you in the water in your camo wetsuit. For now, the difference is whether you hold a gun or not, so I assume the thought behind the ban is to protect the sea from a sudden spike in recreational fishing (because, would we really stay at home watching tv?). Now if this would be the reason behind the ban, why don't they communicate it like that? People would understand, while now the majority on the spearfishing facebook groups feels bullied.
 
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DiveHacker

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
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You can't look for reason in any of this. Not long ago there were people getting tickets for surfing in wide open areas, and meanwhile in places around the parking lot areas people were allowed to crowd around each other haha.
 
Leander

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Yeah I probably give the politician a little too much credit. And indeed, during the spring-lockdown they also banned swimming and all other watersports.
 
J

Johny Depth

Active Member
Sep 27, 2020
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In the month of june we were permitted to enter the beach on the free beach area on the left and right was the deck chairs with umbrellas we were not aloud to pass within that area the also changed the regulation allowing recreational diving fishing present status here in italy code yellow,. uppon orange code we are not allowed to fish ,.Look on the coast gaurd site in greece to maintain an eye or contact coast gaurd in greece
 
Spearfishing Life

Spearfishing Life

Active Member
Mar 12, 2019
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Υeah we have them here in the last years and we do our best to keep our reefs clean!

 
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Leander

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Υeah we have them here in the last years and we do our best to keep our reefs clean!


I noticed the past months a sharp decline in the amount of lionfish in my area (tymbaki-matala, crete), have you noticed something similar?

It could be of course that my systematic cleaning of the area actually helps, or that something is troubling them. I did notice an increase in lagocephalus too. Little ones. Perhaps related? Can a lionfish eat a puffer and survive?

Another change is that the local lionfish don't seem to wander around anymore. They're now all hiding, even on calm sunny days with no waves.
 
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