The lionfish has been in the waters around St. Croix for many years now. I still remember one night in 1974, I was fishing with Mr. Earl Charles of Estate Whim (from his boat) near the Frederiksted pier when he caught one. He was going to grab it to get the hook out and release the fish when I stopped him, told him they carried a venom in those spines.
I'm certainly not a marine biologist, but had read of these fish somewhere, and it would be difficult to not recognize one. Neither of us knew they were dangerous to the native fish population at that time. The only point I would make here is that they have been around St. Croix for a very long time.
Port Charlotte, Florida
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