The lionfish is beautiful in appearance but can be very dangerous if not properly handled.
Lionfish have quills that are quite long, very sharp and contain venom that causes a severe reaction if it contacts the skin. Lionfish have become such aninvasive threat to Florida waters and reef system the Florida Fish and Wild Life Commission (FWC) announced they have adopted a resolution declaring the first Saturday following Mother’s Day to be Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. Further, on May 16th and 17th divers across Florida will be encouraged to see how many lionfish they can remove from Florida waters in a single weekend. Starting that same weekend, the FWC announced they are rolling out the Reef Rangers Lionfish Control Program asking members to pledge to select a section of a reef and remove lionfish from that area several times a year.
To support the hunting and removal of lionfish from Florida waters Keystone Dive Products (KDP) is introducing a new product to assist divers with safely harvesting this invasive fish.
It is a derivative of their proven Lobster Inn; appropriately named the “Lionfish Inn”. As shown in the photos, KDP designed the Lionfish Inn as a basic cylinder (approx. 29-inches long with a 6-inch mouth/throat) with the proven one-way, 5-inch wide flap in the top to prevent lionfish escape while safely providing easy spear removal. The bottom of the device has a unique double wall feature designed to protect the user from the venomous quills while allowing for rapid water flow through the device (see top and bottom views in the inserted photos).
The lightweight device contains a sturdy webbing strap for easy handling while also serving as a ‘keeper’ for the detachable bottom section. To remove the catch, you simply unclip the keeper and optional shoulder strap from the upper D-ring attachment point and slowly slide the bottom section off, while being careful to avoid exposure to the venomous quills. One can empty the lionfish into any container or onto the cleaning station if you are so inclined to prepare these very tasty fish for eating.