This week in Lembongan… Our divers have been able to spot some lions… Lion fish that is. The common and the long fin lion fish are common sights in the waters around Nusa Lembongan and they are natural inhabitants, so they are not a pests like in other parts of the world.
This interesting and flamboyant creature are common in many waters around the world but they are only native to the Indo-Pacific area. Due to some lion fish being released in foreign waters, these fish have developed homes in waters as far as USA and Caribbean. Due to a lack of predators in these areas they have become an invasive species which is affecting the native inhabitants of the area. Because of this these creatures are often hunted to help cull the population to allow the other fish in the water the chance to grow.
The ‘feather’ like pectoral and dorsal fins on the lion fish are supported by thin toxic spins and it is these that deliverer poison to anything that is punctured by these spins. The venom produces negative inotropic and chronotriopic effects. In a human these cause extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and difficulties breathing. It is rarely fatal to humans and it is possible for humans to be punctured by these spins and no venom is injected. As long as you are not reaching out to try and grab them, these creatures are not dangerous to divers but their red, white, black colouring and their feather display are something very interesting to spot.
These lion fish are often found hiding under reef overhangs during the day time, but these are not the only creatures our dive guides have been able to point out. We have also seen this week; one more mola, as well as, turtles, a white tip reef shark, a large frog fish and boxer crabs.