|Divers allowed to purchase combating tools against lionfish|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:19|
WILLEMSTAD — After the Public Prosecutor recently announced a tolerance policy as from October 8 for registered members combating the invasive fish species, the lionfish, with an ELF-devise or a JBL pole spear, the coordinator of the lionfish control, Faisel Dilrosun, clarified that divers are now allowed to purchase aforementioned tools themselves.
Divers can now purchase the ELF-devises that were previously given only after a security check (registered by number), just like the JBL’s. “The devise itself is no longer registered but it’s important that the divers are registered within a team or group. For that matter these devises will not damage the coral because they have no shooting projectiles”, said Dilrosum. The Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature (GMN) stated mid July that the JBL is a more effective combat tool after the test group (the Lionfish Eradication Team (LET)) demonstrated it was possible to catch one lionfish per minute. This team was the first to receive an official exemption for the use of the JBL. The ministry also announced the intention to place an order for 300 JBL pole spears: “This order wasn’t placed owing to lack of money but those in organized groups can now purchase for example the JBL, the ZOO-Keeper and protective gloves. For that matter since the announcement from the Public Prosecutor we’ve received many positive reactions from those actively involved in combating the lionfish with the pole spear but lacked official permission. In other words, they are relieved because they needn’t worry about being talked to by the Coastguard or police”, said Dilrosum from the GMN. He is also an ardent diver and has been closely involved with the eradication from the beginning. “We see clearly now that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to catch the fish, which of course is good news. It means the active combating is working. We often notice that large numbers of lionfish are only seen at certain places”, said Dilrosum. The Public Prosecutor emphasized that other objects, like the ‘Hawaiian sling’ or spear guns are absolutely prohibited. “At times we receive complaints that a few using the permitted devises still damage the coral. Prudence is called for and in general the various combating teams monitor this.”