Well I can’t say I’m disappointed that we haven’t caught/seen very many Lionfish because they don’t belong here, however I am very surprised to see so few. I’m utilizing the roving diver technique, as it is often the best way to find elusive and cryptic species. While not only specifically looking for lionfish at each dive site, I am also taking fish counts for the indicator species. This data can be incorporated into any of the researcher’s papers if they need it. After all we are a TEAM!
The first day of research dives we speared a lionfish. It was roughly 7 inches out of the water and after we “Macgyvered” a dissecting kit, we established its’ stomach was empty. Very interesting. Hopefully between our dives tomorrow and Friday we will find a few larger ones potentially with full stomachs!
Though today’s dive was unsuccessful at finding any lionfish, we did see several large grouper and snapper. This may be an indication as to why so few lionfish were found at these particular dive sites. I was also ecstatic to catch a glimpse of a young sea turtle, and lucky for my daughters I took a picture too!!! I was informed they were very impressed with “Crush”. Maybe some of you get that.
I am so anxious for our dives tomorrow. Every dive is better than the last, and in the evening we will have our one and only night dive! If there is one thing I have been nervous about on this trip it’s the night dive. Well, I can only hope it goes very smoothly, and we see some amazing things that hide out during the day. This trip has yet to disappoint, and I don’t see tomorrow as being an exception!!!