Lionfish Hunter Wards Off Shark With Hawaiian Sling

Entire encounter caught on GoPro Camera

A diver culling invasive lionfish in the Caribbean captured this shark encounter with a GoPro camera.

A diver who was doing his part in culling the invasive lionfish from the reefs of the Caribbean, may have gotten more than he bargained for after 30 minutes of culling the popular aquarium fish. He had a basket full of lionfish that he shot with his Hawaiian sling when out of nowhere, a shark came too close and tried to grab the fish that was in the basket he was carrying.

The shark, which looks about 5 to 6 feet in length in the video, spent a good two minutes harassing diver Jason Dimitri, often charging him with mouth agape. Dimitri’s only defense was the sling, which he used to jab the shark nearly every time it “attacked.” Luckily Dimitri was able to fend off the shark, but not before capturing the entire footage with his GoPro camera.

The lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific and has become invasive on the Atlantic Coast down into the Caribbean. The species is decimating local reef fish populations and one way that is encouraged to help alleviate their numbers is via culling. Each year the state of Florida and Reef Environmental Education Foundation ( holds lionfish derbies to try and control the invasive species with the voracious appetite.

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Fish · Lifestyle