As most Advanced Aquarist regular readers know, the Indo-Pacific Lionfish are growing out of control in the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on ecosystems up and down the Eastern American coastline. Many ideas have spawned (no pun intended) to deal with this bio-invasion such “” contests where divers compete to remove as many Lionfish as they can.
The Lionfish Tamer is a $35 mini-speargun designed to help divers in this pursuit. Spearguns are highly effective because Lionfish in the Atlantic have developed no fear of predators. This is because top predators (namely large groupers and snappers) are over-fished, and remaining predators still do not seem to know what to make of this exotic foreign species. Therefore, Lionfish show no fear of fish nor humans, making it easy to approach and shoot them point blank.
An important reminder to both saltwater and freshwater aquarists: Never dispose of aquarium livestock, water, or substrate in local waters. Your seemingly insignificant actions can lead to catastrophic effects on native ecosystems (e.g. Atlantic Lionfish invasion, Caulerpa algae).
Here is a video of The Lionfish Tamer in action. The video is not for the squeamish and definitely not for Lionfish lovers! It’s sad to see these beautiful animals killed, but it is a necessary evil in order to save entire ecosystems from this invasive species.