Continuing the regional fight against the invasive Lionfish, the team at Sandals LaSource in Grenada has joined hands with its guests traveling to the island to help support the Sandals Foundation in its fight against the Lionfish. This is done by hosting a weekly hunting exercise geared at reducing and eventually eradicating the presence of the invasive species on the island’s reefs.
On the Lionfish hunts, the Sandals LaSource dive team and guests, whom are trained and certified to capture and handle Lionfish, work in tandem with guests who act as spotters, to avoid any contact or accidents with the venomous Lionfish. The catch is then brought back to Sandals LaSource and used to demonstrate the proper practices of handling and cleaning this venomous invasive species. Guests can also separately become PADI certified in Lionfish removal through a PADI specialty course.
Now in its 4th week, the initiative has so far speared 114 Lionfish at depths as much as 80 feet in 3 separate locations underwater — Windmill Shallow, Whibbles and Veronica L. Other reefs will be explored as the initiative continues.
Environment, Health and Safety Manager at Sandals LaSource, Larissa Mark, initially introduced the program, in partnership with the resort’s tour department leader Terry Thomas who continues to lead the sub-aquatic expeditions.
According to Jonathan Hernould — Environmental Officer for the Sandals Foundation, the partnership between Sandals LaSource and Sandals Foundation speaks to the Foundation’s plans to undertake a Caribbean-wide fight against the invasive marine species.
He said, “Lionfish are a destructive invasive species to the Caribbean that is devastating local fish populations as they have no natural predators in this region. The Lionfish hunts work well because not only do they help to remove Lionfish from our waters, but also help to educate our guests, team members and community members about the problems they cause, not to mention they are also great for eating. We are happy that the team at Sandals La Source has taken the initiative and is making this programme a success.”