Dive Friends Bonaire is a REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) Survey Station. Any interested divers or snorkelers are welcome to conduct a survey.
Beginner fish watchers start off at Level 1 and can work their way up by submitting survey data and taking a fish ID quiz or by taking the Dive Friends Bonaire REEF Survey Diver course. Just drop by and we’ll lend you a fish survey slate to use.
Once you start conducting fish surveys, your diving experience will change. Suddenly you will start to notice things on your dives that have always been there, but the difference is that now you will know them.
You will realize when a species you encounter is a great find, and who are the usual suspects. Another reason – it allows you to participate, become a scientist, become an explorer. It gives you a voice to make a difference. We hope you will use it.
For more information, please visit www.reef.org.
Unfortunately, the Caribbean lionfish invasion has spread to Bonaire. What started as an unfortunate release from an aquarium in Florida in the early 1990s became an environmental disaster of epic proportions.
Lionfish can produce up to 30,000 floating eggs in one spawn. They eat everything that they come across and, due to their venomous spines, almost nothing eats them. Studies have shown that when they appear on your reef–you can lose up to 40% of your biodiversity!
Luckily for us, we have a great team of local volunteer divers that are doing their best to combat this scourge. The Bonaire Marine Park has trained and mobilized local divers to use ELFs or Eliminate Lionfish Devices.
What you can do:
If you see one in the Marine Park, please note the depth, dive site and location and report it at any of our dive centers. We’ll do our best to make sure that it is speared and on someone’s dinner plate as soon as possible.
Under no circumstances should you try to catch or kill it yourself. Stings from the venomous spines are quite painful. Apply a hot compress (as hot as you can stand) to the wound and head over to the hospital to get it checked out.
Another thing that you can do is EAT LIONFISH! Instead of dining on grouper or shark, who should be left in the oceans to eat lionfish, you can turn the tables and ask for lionfish in every restaurant that you visit on Bonaire.
If there’s a demand, there will be a supply. It’s tasty and perfectly safe to eat. The spines are the only part that contain venom. You can also bring home a Lionfish Cookbook from our retail shop.