This week, a new public service announcement video was released through a joint effort of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) in an effort to help educate the public about the dangers of the lionfish invasion in Florida and the Caribbean.
The PSA video was created to provide effective basic first aid instructions for Lionfish related injuries.
A DEMA official said, “The PSA is in response to the increasing number of reported injuries which have been attributed to the species’ alarming population increase and invasion into nonnative waters.”
This 30 second video provides divers with fundamental information on action to immediately and effectively treat an injury sustained due to an encounter with a Lionfish.
The PSA is available online here at the Be A Diver YouTube channel Viewers are encouraged to share the PSA with their friends. Look for it to appear in other venues as it is already being shown on Cayman Islands television.
The lionfish, although beautiful, is also dangerous. Their venomous barbs are their protection and a sting can be quite painful. ”With the Lionfish population growing at an alarming rate, encounters are far more frequent than what we have seen in the recent past and it is imperative for divers to equip themselves with proper first aid knowledge,” explained Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “By creating this campaign with our partners at DAN, we hope to empower divers with the knowledge necessary to quickly and properly handle an encounter with the venomous Lionfish.”
The proliferation of this invasive species is creating concern in all areas of the Caribbean and in the Southern United States. With no known local predators, a high reproductive rate, and a voracious appetite their presence on the reefs is very destructive. Recent efforts aimed at control and eradication means divers are increasingly coming in contact with these fish and injuries are on the rise.
Here in Florida, REEF.org has been actively working on lionfish control and eradication. We have a link to their website at REEF.org Please visit the site for more information.