Netherlands Antilles Coral Reef Initiative
last updated: May, 2010
October 2009: Lionfish arrive both in Bonaire and Curaçao
October 28, 2009. The first lionfish of Bonaire was sighted and subsequently caught and killed at Nukove on Bonaire on Monday Oct 26. It was 3 cm long, so a small juvenile. The next day, Tuesday 27, also on Bonaire, a second lionfish was sighted and caught at Something Special. This one was slightly bigger, about 5 cm long. That same day, Tuesday 27, a lionfish was caught by dive shop Ocean Encounters West at Watamula on Curaçao, it was also a small juvenile, about 4 cm long.
It would appear that a cloud of larvae carried by the ocean currents passed by the windward islands recently, out of which the larvae settled when they found the sea bottom within reach. It is likely then that hundreds of juvenile Lionfish are now living around the islands. Because they can live down to depths of 150 m (500 ft) or more we will never see most of them, only those that end up relatively shallow, like the three that have now been reported.