Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬
“Fair and Free, We Salute Thee”
This amazing little commonwealth nation is situated in the northern Lesser Antilles and includes the tiny uninhabited island of Redonda. (Redonda is mostly a bird sanctuary today)
In 1981 the island’s became independent of Britain. At that time it’s people shared the land communally. Things have changed somewhat since Hurricane Irma struck hard in 2017, but as many Caribbean places do, they rebuild and soon invite tourists again with open arms!
The two main islands are known for their beautiful pink and white sand beaches, exotic bird species and a pleasant moderate climate. And for divers the surrounding coral reefs and many shipwrecks are there to explore!
Most visitors stay on Antigua. The beautiful town of St. John’s is the Capital and the Island is a popular safe haven for cruising sailboats with its many sheltered bays and anchorages. It also has an amazing history to check out! Admiral Nelson’s Dockyard for instance is well worth a visit! Consider a side trip to Barbuda though if you have the time. It’s only a two hour water taxi ride or a 15 minute flight away. There are a few guest houses operating again and the locals are very warm and welcoming. Bring along your travel polespear for lionfish and plan to do some snorkeling from the unpopulated beaches!
Lionfish have certainly found their way to these islands but the invasion is not as bad as it is in other Caribbean places. Spearguns are illegal except for use by licenced local divers, but polespears are fine to use for lionfish with no restrictions regarding their size or the type of tips used. In the past some of the diving services were feeding lionfish to sharks and other species on their outings, but of course that created problems (like being bumped into for a handout) so most guides have stopped this practice. We’ve listed a few of the diving services below! All of the diving services on Antigua and Barbuda are said to be very professional!
Many restaurants and food stands will prepare and serve lionfish for you when it is available to them but not so much on Barbuda yet. You will need to ask around to find out who has it on the menu that day. You may sell your day’s catch if you wish but most visitors just offer them to their hosts and you’ll usually get to sample some later, which I would recommend!
Here are a few of the diving services on Antigua and Barbuda!
Jolly Dive Antigua
1268 462 8305
1268 562 3483
1268 732 3475
Antigua Scuba School
1268 771 6277
Antigua Ministry of Agriculture/Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs 1268 462 6106
Apparently, lionfish are showing up in fish traps (or what they call “fish pots”) out on the island shelf. We’re not too sure why exactly, but that is a question that many of us are looking into. There doesn’t seem to be any actual lionfish trap research going on in Antigua and Barbuda at this time.
Happy Hunting and please share your lionfish spearing photos with us!