Sharks trained to hunt alien lionfish


A new weapon is being developed in the fight against alien lionfish off the coast of Honduras – sharks.

Efforts are being made by local divers and part officials at the Roatan Marine Park to give sharks a taste for lionfish.

Lionfish are native to  the Pacific and Indian Oceans but have spread throughout the waters of the Caribbean and U.S. Southeast at an alarming rate over the past decade or so.

Photographer Antonio Busiello spent several months observing the process. He explained: "At the beginning, the divers just killed lionfish and fed sharks with them to get the sharks to develop a taste. In the second step, to have the sharks develop an interest in hunting them, divers started to leave wounded lionfish so that the sharks could taste them. After a while, did start to hunt them and go after them."

Lionfish have no natural predators, and it's hoped that putting them on the sharks' list of prey items might help to keep them under control.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, many sharks can eat venomous prey, such as lionfish, and suffer no apparent ill effects. Another good reason to protect them then?