Lionfish culling milestone – 10,000 lionfish killed

After seeing our first lionfish here on the East End of Grand Cayman in September 2009, I caught lionfish number 10,000 on the 30th July 2017. TEN THOUSAND!. So I have caught about 3.5 lionfish every single day since September 2009, all the way up to the 30th July 2017. I cull the lionfish at work with Tortuga Divers and on my days off using my own small 17 foot Logic fishing boat.

Having a boat is great, but having a great buddy is awesome. My buddy is my wife Deby, and she is the best spotter of lionfish I know.

Having a boat gets us out to places lots of other cullers cannot get to on a regular basis. Unfortunately, not all the dive sites we go to are beautiful. The lionfish hang out sometimes in the most unattractive of places. In the shallows where there is little coral because of wave action or inside the barrier reef where there is a lot of sand and turtle grass.

Those 10,000 lionfish I caught weighed in excess of 5,000 lbs.

It always feels great to catch the big ones, but catching the small ones is just as important. I do find it very sad though catching any of these stunningly beautiful creatures. It is not their fault they ended up in Cayman waters, but now they are here we have to get rid of them. As an invasive species they are doing too much harm.

When I caught lionfish number TEN THOUSAND on the 30th July 2017 I did get some press coverage here in the Cayman Islands. I was front-page news as you can see below:

The Cayman Compass is a daily newspaper but the Fun News paper is a six-monthly edition, so I was front page news every day for SIX MONTHS.

So what do I do with all the lionfish that I catch you might ask. At the present time I sell most of my lionfish to Morritt’s resort which is where Tortuga Divers are based out of. The great chefs there at Morritt’s serve up the lionfish at David’s Deep Blue Restaurant & Bar.

And I also sell some lionfish to Rum Point Restaurant where JB’s chefs prepare some delightful specials.

Now we just need mother nature to take over from us cullers as we are never going to control or eradicate this problem. And the good news is, there may be signs that something is happening. There appear to be less lionfish around this year. But that might just be that there are other cullers out there getting in front of me. However, there does appear to be a lot less small lionfish around. Hopefully something is eating up the small ones. However, it may just be lionfish themselves as they are cannibalistic.

Now if you want to catch lionfish like me then it helps to have fantastic air consumption. If you can improve your air consumption on each dive then you’ll get better value for money AND have more time to catch more lionfish. So why not buy my pdf ebook Save Your Breath which highlights dozens of ways to improve your air consumption – click on the link here for Save Your Breath and read all about it.

Happy hunting!

Nige.  31/07/2017

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About Nigel Coles

Hi my name is Nigel Coles. I used to live in Bristol, England but after a change in direction we moved overseas to work in the scuba diving industry. After a time in Thailand, for the last 8 years I have been living with my wife Deby, in the East End of Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands. I’m a dive instructor, working for Tortuga Divers, part of the Red Sail group. I spend my day on dive boats, training students and taking our guests on dive trips. It’s a hard life but someone has to do it

4 Responses to Lionfish culling milestone – 10,000 lionfish killed

  1. Sally PALMER says:

    Great read about the lion fish

  2. Sally PALMER says:

    Love the photos ????

  3. Sue Hausser says:

    Great article & photos ! Look forward to meeting you in September!

  4. Good job sir! ????

    I made a comment on fb about how “I’d like to sponsor this man”.
    I make a few lionfish polespear versions that are becoming a favourite among the serious cullers. If you aren’t being supplied by anyone at this time, would you like to try one out?
    Walt Deelman
    Lionator Pole Spears
    (fb and .com)
    250 896-0962