Throw them to the sharks! Brave diver finds new way to control rising
numbers of poisonous lionfish off the coast of Cuba
Marine biologist recommends regulating lionfish by feeding them to sharks
Local guides 'teaching' reef sharks to consume the venomous fish
This spearing experiment has been in practice since 2011
New video suggests success, sharks now eating lionfish without prompt
By KATIE AMEY FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:51 GMT, 27 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:06 GMT, 27
A diver has found a new way to control rising numbers of lionfish off
the coast of Cuba - by feeding the venomous species to Caribbean reef
Lionfish, which are beautiful but deadly, possess venom in their fin
rays, which makes them excellent predators and a threat to fishermen and
The capture and delivery of the lionfish was photographed by French
marine biologist Mathieu Foulquie during a trip to the Gardens of the
Queen National Marine Park, a popular tourist destination in Cuba.
Lionfish are venomous fish found off the coast of Cuba and are
considered a threat to predators and divers
'The pictures show the hunt for lionfish, and demonstrate how local
guides are trying to control the invasive species by training sharks to
eat them,' said 40-year-old Mathieu.
'My diving instructor, Andres Jimenez, who is also a marine biologist,
shot a lionfish with his pole spear and presented it to the Caribbean
reef sharks swimming around us.'
'One of the sharks swam directly towards him to catch the lionfish.'
'The lionfish is an invasive species in the Caribbean, but native
Caribbean predators like sharks, or grouper fish don't eat them.'
If the sharks can be taught to consume them, however, they will
naturally regulate them.
It is believed that if sharks can learn to consume them without prompt,
it will help regulate the lionfish species
'Only specialists in shark behaviour can try this kind of experiment,'
Swimming at a depth of twenty five metres, Mathieu watched as Andres
carefully caught the lionfish and fed it to the Caribbean reef shark, an
experiment which has been in practice since 2011.
Mathieu said: 'Only specialists in shark behaviour can try this kind of
experiment, and ordinary divers and photographers should never try to
'As long as you stay humble and keep in mind you're just a guest, you
can enjoy the dive without any danger.'
'From a scientific point of view, we don't know how successful the
project is. But, apparently, recent videos show native top predators are
starting to eat lionfish without them being previously speared by divers.'
Source: Brave diver finds new way to control rising numbers of poisonous
lionfish off the coast of Cuba | Daily Mail Online -