By Fred Garth
If you’re sick and tired of hearing about the lionfish invasion, better grab some aspirin and earplugs because the noise is only gonna get louder. Think NASCAR races with jet engines. During the past few years, not only have the little spiked cretans breed like jack rabbits, but so has the media frenzy. Those of us who fish and dive and write articles about it have been banging the alarm for a decade. But now even dingleberries like Matt Lauer and Martha Stewart are talking about lionfish. They’ve stolen our best damn story, those sorry dogs.
No worries though, they’ll soon move on to hard hitting news like, “Does Vladimir Putin shave his chest hair?” while we dedicated marine journalists will still be dissing on the brown and white striped beasties. Case in point, the first Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day or LRAD is happening May 16-17 in Pensacola, Florida (hometown of Guy Harvey Magazine BTW). Sidenote: why didn’t they name it Lionfish Awareness and Removal Day so we could call it LARD!
Anyway, LRAD is gonna be big. Guy Harvey will be in town along with some high-powered politicians, big cheeses from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and we’re all going to be celebrating the killing, maiming and munching of lionfish like barbaric gluttons so we can eventually crush their entire species – something humans are damn efficient at doing. It’s not like we haven’t snuffed out entire genuses before. It’s kinda what we do. I mean, just give man a spear and show him something he can eat and he can wipe out anything quickly and efficiently. Ask a buffalo, for instance.
Unfortunately, lionfish aren’t that easy to eradicate. They spread like a bad rash and live in depths too deep for us air breathers to dive using typical scuba gear. Yet, we persevere. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all – to paraphrase the great poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson.
And, if we fail, at least we’ll enjoy scarfing down a lot of dee-licious lionfish along the way. But we won’t fail, will we? We’re number one and we’re winners. So, on May 16-17, come to Pensacola for Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day and celebrate the beginning of the end of lionfish in the Western Hemisphere. If you can’t make it to our fair city, go out there and blast away at some lionfish in your own backyard, that is, presuming that you live near the coast. We’d hate to see you poisoning your neighbor’s aquarium.