Lionfish Hunting Certification

PADI Certified Lionfish Hunter

The lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific, but over the last decade, they have become a threat to the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs. Because of their exotic appearance, they are popular in saltwater aquariums. It is believed that they were first introduced to the Atlantic in the surrounding waters of Florida.

Since then, there has been a population explosion of lionfish in the Bahamas and Caribbean reefs.
Lionfish are considered an invasive species because they pose a high risk to local sealife, seagrass, mangrove and coral reefs. They particularly feed on juvenile reef fish which can have a devastating impact on our local sealife.

Lionfish have no natural predators and over the last few years, divers have taken an active part in conservation efforts to remove them from the surrounding reefs. While Akumal Dive Center plays an active role in reef restoration and other conservation efforts, within only a year of their first sighting, their numbers grew so quickly that we had to take active measures to ward off the invasion. This is an initiative in force in most Caribbean and Gulf areas.

When they are cooked, they have a consistency that has been compared to lobster or shrimp. Lionfish have a buttery, white meat that many have found to be quite delicious. Many of the local restaurants in Akumal serve lionfish on their menu.

Hunting for lionfish poses many challenges due to the equipment that is used, and because they sting with venom. While the sting is not life threatening, it does cause intense pain and inflammation.
Our 2 day Lionfish Hunting Certification includes all equipment and 2 dives.
The course covers:

  • The ongoing threat of lionfish as an invasive species
  • How to use a spear and canister to capture lionfish
  • Buoyancy and best practices for safety while hunting
  • Conservation and reef protection during hunting

Divers can expect to spend 4 hours over a 2 day course to learn about lionfish and best practices for hunting them. Akumal Dive Center is a proud sponsor of local conservation trips to control the ongoing lionfish invasion. Over the last 5 years, the lionfish population has been greatly reduced in Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay due to the efforts of our local divers. We are excited to introduce our customers to Lionfish Hunting Certification while they enjoy their time diving with us.

Contact us for more information.