Specialty Course

Native to the Pacific Ocean, lionfish are progressively invading the north-western Atlantic and the Caribbean, where they have no natural predators. Learn what action is needed to control the lionfish population and, during two scuba dives, learn practical ways to safely and humanely capture and euthanize these fish.


This specialty is an introduction to invasive Lionfish tracking, to familiarize divers with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of invasive Lionfish management diving. It’s intended to serve as a safe and supervised introduction to invasive Lionfish tracking. Training should emphasize safety and fun.

Certified as a PADI Open Water Diver, Be at least 15 years old, or have a qualifying certification from another training organization. In this case, a qualifying certification is defined as proof of entry-level scuba certification with a minimum of four open water training dives. 


By the end of knowledge development, student divers will be able to explain:

• The correct Family, Genus and Species names for Lionfish • Their morphology and lifespan
• Their habitat preference and behavior
• Their reproduction and growth facts

• The hunting methods of Lionfish and identification of its prey • Whether Lionfish are venomous
• Whether Lionfish are dangerous to humans
• Known Lionfish predators

• The various theories relating to Lionfish introduction
• The negative effects on native species resulting from Lionfish introduction • The procedure for reporting Lionfish sightings
• The Lionfish Tissue Repository
• The correct capturing and euthanizing techniques

Getting Started


Read the Lionfish Invasion from the REEF website. Stop by your local Aqua Hands Instructors to enroll in the course and start learning about the threat of exotic and invasive species to aquatic environments.