DM Raf has been hunting lionfish and protecting the reefs from them since 2018!
About DM Raf
Originally from Detroit, Mi. Called to the water from a young age but had to start my love for diving in the great lakes. That soon turned to warm water diving. Always a passion but life would place hurdles to keep my love at bay.
I’ve since overcome most of them and have the privilege of living and working in Aruba which has opened up my opportunities to improve as a DiveMaster on my days off from my real job. My goal is to become an instructor, which has been challenging due to the lack of IDC’s on Aruba so in the meantime, I’ve had the opportunity to be a founding member of a fantastic foundation committed to eradicating invasive Lionfish from Aruba’s waters; the “Caribbean Lionfish Alliance.”
I love being able to share my passion especially when I have the opportunity to share it with children or young adults who never knew the beauty that lies below the surface of the water.
What do you like about lionfish hunting?
I love hunting Lionfish because I know that my efforts have a positive, direct impact on the native fish and fauna that would otherwise likely succumb to the invasive lionfish that has no natural predators in the region.
I also enjoy sharing my experiences and educating people that are unfamiliar with lionfish; the danger they pose combined with the impact on local fisherman, tourism and the health of the reef.
I also enjoy eating lionfish! They make the best ceviche, fried croquettes, even sushi. I especially like the “wings” fried.
What do you like about the lionfish community?
What I like about the lionfish community is that it’s a small group of people with a similar goal…Save the reefs from the invasive predator for the long term benefits to all who share the ocean.
Anything else you want to tell us?: The fact that lionfish can reproduce at such an alarming rate requires more hunters, more techniques, more training, safety, education and perhaps the assistance from marine biologists to help mother nature along by educating local reef fish such as eels, sharks, etc to hunt them as well. We’ll need all the help we can get to bring local fish populations back to where they once were.