Divers hold ‘rodeo’ to control lionfish

A North Carolina dive company recruited divers for a series of “lionfish rodeos” in hopes of preventing the species native to the Pacific Ocean from damaging Atlantic fishing areas.

For two days, Discovery Diving Co. in Beaufort held the first annual Cape Lookout Lionfish Rodeo.

Just a handful of the ravenous and venomous lionfish were seen off the state’s Atlantic coast in 2000.

Now, lionfish are making life harder for struggling reef fish such as grouper and snapper by stealing their food and eating their young.