Allie ElHage, LHE
Inventor of ZooKeeper
Allie has been in the Lionfish Community and hunting lionfish since 2011! He continues to be a big part of the Lionfish Community and encourages all divers to get involved.
About Allie ElHage, LHE
Allie is the designer and inventor of ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Unit. He is also Lionfish Hunter Extraordinaire (LHE).
In 2011, Allie was living between Sarasota and Curacao when a friend asked him to design something to protect Lionfish hunters. They were using a mesh bag and the spines would poke out and sting the divers. Within 4 weeks, ZooKeeper was born.
Allie’s friend Curd asked him to enter his new device in the 2011 Curacao Innovation Award. Out of 6 entries, ZooKeeper won the Grand Prize!
In 2012, Allie redesigned all the parts, started mass production and assembly, and by April 2013, ZooKeeper’s started to ship out to all the Lionfish invaded areas.
From 2013 through 2021, ZooKeeper sponsored more than 100 tournaments and events, donated prizes, and was is still one of the leaders in the Lionfish Community.
One day while diving aboard “Lady Go Diver”, he sat next to Tim and they started talking. Tim, being a brilliant businessman and avid lionfish hunter, showed interest in buying ZooKeeper. Perfect timing as Allie was very busy with his design company and felt that ZooKeeper had plateaued. It was time for someone to take it to the next level.
Allie sold his ZooKeeper company to Tim and the rest is history! Tim and his team have taken the products and taken the company to the next level is a big way. This is great news for the Lionfish Community and will help encourage more divers to go remove more lionfish. Tim and his team continue to sponsor events, donate prizes and educate the dive community of the importance of lionfish removal and reef cleanups.
Allie made one of the most important products for saving the reefs from the invasive lionfish! He continues to design products for the dive industry as well as running his design firm. He is also a board member of Lionfish University – a great nonprofit organization that does great work for the Lionfish Community.
What do you like about lionfish hunting?
Protecting the reefs we love and being rewarded with a sustainable healthy food source. You aren’t guaranteed to catch any lionfish so each dive is like a treasure hunt. Seeing other divers get excited to protect their reefs and giving them a device that helps them succeed is also very rewarding.
What do you like about the lionfish community?
Every diver that hunts lionfish truly cares for the ocean. There is a sense of family and and being part of a special group of divers. The passion for healthy oceans and protecting the natural environments for generations to come is a never-ending but rewarding endeavor. Please join us….