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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lionfish Holder....

This post may not be for everyone, but as a scuba instructor, I spend many hours underwater and have seen throughout the Caribbean the terrible outcome of the proliferation of LIONFISH.  A species NOT indigenous to this part of the world and a species who have, until recently, had no predator species to control their population. They, themselves are voracious eaters and can wipe out the juvenile fish population of a reef in very little time.

While, there are reports of eel's and a few others beginning to feed on them, it looks like it may be too little, too late.  They are not only predator fish, but their defense is a series of barbed fins that emit a highly toxic venom, that can kill even humans....

Here in Cozumel, officials have taken a proactive stance when it comes to Lionfish.  For the last few years they have not only permitted, but encouraged divemasters and instructors to dispatch any Lionfish they see....  The added bonus it turns out, is that they are VERY TASTY!

There is of course, the obvious downside.  Once you have speared a Lionfish (even after it's dead) the venomous spines are still dangerous.  My great friend Troy, who is an exceptional fisherman, dive instructor, and all round nice guy has been spearfishing and diving with me for years, came up with a variation on a commercially available holder for these little devils after they have been speared.

The ZOOKEEPER tm. is made by a company in Florida and is an awesome Lionfish holder if your dive is all about hunting Lionfish, but for folks like Troy and I, who so often have other divers to work with, their unit is too large and creates too much drag.  

After a few beers, Troy came up with a semi-genius idea to use off the shelf plumbing parts to create our own, smaller unit... After an internet search of the Home Depot site, we came up with a list of off the shelf plumbing parts that we could use...

For you convenience, they are listed here:
4" ABS Pipe - 12-15" (depending on your preference)
4" ABS male plug (SKU 1000116113)
4" ABS female adapter hub x FIPT (SKU 1000116156)
4" ABS coupling hub (SKU 1000116137)

The other parts are a $1 funnel from the dollar store, and a handle I had laying around the boat, 1 or 2 6" hose clamps, and 2 stainless steel clips...

Here is the outcome of our efforts:

Removable end cap

The finished unit

The one way door... (OK funnel)

End cap removed

Enough room for one or two fish...
The end caps are kept in place with 4 (2 at each end) 1/2" stainless steel self tapping screws.  I also used a stainless padeye and clip at one end instead of the hose clamp and find that it makes it easier to attach and detach from my "D" rings on my BCD..

1 comment:

  1. what keeps the funnel in place? does it have a lip that is pressed between the pipe and the coupling hub?