Lionfish first arrived in Dominica in 2011 as an invasive species.

Their natural home is in the Indian and Pacific Oceans where they are admired for their beauty and live in harmony within their eco-system. Because of their unique beauty, Lionfish were brought to America through the aquarium trade. In the late 1990s, Lionfish in Florida entered the eco-system and made their way first into the Atlantic Ocean and then down into the Caribbean Sea. Here, in a brand new marine environment, they had NO predators. They reproduced rapidly (laying 40,000 eggs every 4-7 days) and they grew to more than two-thirds beyond their normal size, voraciously eating our beautiful tropical reef fish. In studies of uncontrolled reefs, lionfish reduced biodiversity by 85%.Lionfish mermaid

The Lionfish migration from Florida to Dominica took a decade. During this time, local Dive Center owners were monitoring the situation and forming a plan. So when the first lionfish reached our shores near Portsmouth in January of 2011, Dominica was ready. From this moment, our Dive Centers teamed up with Fisheries Division to educate the fishermen and the public about this β€œnew” species.

In the Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve (SSMR), located on the southwestern coast of Dominica, you are not permitted to hunt any fish while on scuba. Government acted quickly by allowing an exception to this rule for Dive Shop Operators, so that the Lionfish Invasion could be contained.

We began hunting the lionfish to save our indigenous reef fish, and to our great delight, they were delicious! Promoting the sale of lionfish as a new menu item was a terrific bonus in the battle against the Lionfish.

Adding color to the fins

Now, ten years on, we have been successful in rescuing the SSMR Dive Sites from this invasive species. We not only eat them, but I make jewelry from them!

As a sea lover and conservationist, I saw the beauty of the lionfish and created a line of jewelry to share with other marine creature lovers: The Lionfish Mermaid Jewelry Collection.

During the filleting process, the fins are removed and dried, then prepared to accept color.

This creative technique for fashioning Fins into Finery has been a huge success! And more importantly, it helps support the continued monitoring and culling of Lionfish from our Caribbean Reefs to keep our marine environment in balance.

Thank you for being a part of the Lionfish Journey by purchasing this jewelry πŸ™‚

Lionfish Mermaid Jewelry In the News