Scuba diving performance, 80 minutes, Pompano Beach, FL.
Lionfish are an invasive species that were introduced into Florida waters by people who released them from aquariums. Since their introduction, their population has exploded and their impact on marine biodiversity has been extremely detrimental. With no predators in the Western hemisphere, and incredibly difficult to catch, lionfish are among the most concerning realities of human animal trafficking. Their proliferation is startling and expanding further due to the rising temperatures of ocean waters.
As a means to reduce the population of this voracious fish and to protect native fish, marine biologists have partnered with dive shops to organize fishing derbies. These derbies do not stop the spread of lionfish, but result in sanctuaries for native species. For “Lionfishing” I competed in the South Florida Diving Headquarters’ annual Lionfish Derby, descending a hundred feet into the Atlantic to remove lionfish.