Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Scuba Diving St. Barths: Ile Coco.

The coral reefs of St. Barths are far from dead or dying as some observers think. I went diving at the Ile Coco, off the East end of te island. You can see the Ile Coco from Saline beach. Depths were around 60 feet. Barths is rich with sea life including turtles and a wide assortment of fish, hard, and soft corals. My diving today gave me the opportunity to observe first hand and photograph a highly dangerous invasive species from the far east, the Lionfish. According to wiki: "Lionfish are known for their venomous fin rays, a feature that is uncommon among marine fish in the East Coast coral reefs. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and poisonous to fishermen and divers." I photographed two specimens today, a red and white banded fish at Ile Coco, and a black and white banded specimen at a newly established dive site called "Barracuda Palace," near Le Pain de Sucre. It's hard to believe, but these poisonous predators may have been released into the wild by humans unhappy with them as aquarium pets!

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