Invasive Lionfish Management

Although endemic to the Indo-Pacific, Lionfish are an extremely damaging invasive species in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. This course is designed to give students an introduction to how outbreaks of an invasive species can effect a marine ecosystem and the effects of such imbalances in the reef ecosystem. They will gain the knowledge and skills to monitor and assess lionfish populations and learn how to safely and effectively remove them.


  • Be 12 years of age or older
  • Be a competent swimmer if performing the course snorkelling
  • Be certified as an Advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc) or an Open Water diver who has satisfactorily completed a buoyancy appraisal with a professional diver
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness


  • Understand the definition of invasive species
  • Learn about the invasive Lionfish species currently populating the reefs of the Caribbean
  • Know how to properly spear a lionfish safely, without causing harm to the reef or oneself
  • Know how to properly handle a lionfish and remove venomous spines
  • Know how to record data on Lionfish to the Conservation Diver database


  • Attend 1 practical session on the use of the spear and zoo keeper
  • Attend 1 lecture on Invasive Lionfish management
  • Perform 1 lionfish removal dive using the spear and zoo keeper
  • Record data of lionfish sightings including location, depth, time and date, size and the removal status
  • Complete e-Learning

Expected course time about 5 hours.

Note: Attempts must be made to find and remove Lionfish following protocols outlines in the practical session. If lionfish are not found, can’t be removed safely or without causing damage to the reef or participants do not want to kill the fish, they can still receive the certification.

Certification Card