Lionfish and lobster hunting
Before our trip to Costa Rica, I never thought I would be able to say remember that time we went spearfishing for lionfish and lobster. Personally, the thought of hunting a tropical and toxic species of fish never had any allure for me. However, after spending a couple weeks with Maria and her crew of future maritime archaeologists, I learned how dangerous their overpopulation of lionfish in the area was a huge problem eradicating other species.
Lionfish are an invasive species that eat any and everything, which as a result damages the ecosystems that also depend on those same sources of food and shelter. On the last day of our field school we all broke up into teams of two, one with experience to teach us where to look, how to properly use the spear safely, and how to free dive the reefs.
My personal experience was fascinating, Royer and Kevin were teamed up with Tyler Caldwell and myself. Kevin and Roger showed us where in the reefs the lionfish prefer to hide – dark and hard-to-reach openings in the reefs. Unfortunately the current was too strong and made it incredibly hard to find any lionfish, even though a few were spotted only one small one was caught. However, we did find another target to hunt, lobster. At the end of the afternoon, the entire team ended up with 1 small lionfish, and 4 lobsters of a variety of sizes. I was amazed that I was able to catch one, let alone two. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.