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Lion Fish Mania!

San Pedro is going Lion Fish CRAZY, but with good reason. After learning that the Lion Fish poses a great threat to the marine live in our coral reefs, residents are keeping a keen eye on the fish which has a $50 bounty, captured dead or alive.

Two more of Belize’s most wanted fish, were captured last week. One of them was captured on Friday, March 20, at around 10:30 a.m. about five miles on North Ambergris Caye on the beach of Xaman Ek Resort and Spa. According to Mr. Billy Leslie, the fish was found in the sea grass bed near a dock in about one foot of water. Mr. Mike Campbell was walking up the pier when he saw the small lionfish and contacted the Hol Chan Office. A team from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve along with Mr. Isaias Majil of the Fisheries Department, went to the site, identified the fish and captured it. The fish was five inches in length and will remain at the Hol Chan Marine Office for educational purposes.

The third Lionfish caught alive was by crew members of Searious Adventures on Sunday, March 22. This time around the fish was found at Shark Ray Alley at around 11:00a.m. and its bigger than the one caught at Xaman Ek. The Hol Chan Marine office personnel picked it up and transported it to their office for observation, but the Lion Fish now resides in Captain Shark’s aquarium.

The first Lionfish was caught two weeks ago by Michael Hancock in the Turneffe Atoll but died a few days later.

“Lion Fish are all over the San Pedro Reef,” commented personnel at Ambergris Divers. “This one (above) was spotted off the dive site buoy of Tres Cocos. Our diver took a few shots then called over the dive master to catch it – but the thing darted into the crevices and it couldn’t be caught. We have gone back for it a few times, but have not run across it again.”

The public is being asked to capture or kill these fish as they pose a serious threat to our beautiful Barrier Reef or report any sightings to the Hon Chan Marine Reserve office.

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