Lionfish everywhere!!

Aargh, here they come.
More information at:
the Smithsonian online

Eat em up!!!
quoting the Smithsonian’s article “In April 2008, nearly 200 people came to the headquarters of the Bahamas National Trust, the organization responsible for managing the country’s parks and wildlife sanctuaries, to watch Alexander Maillis cook a lionfish on live local morning television. With his bare hands, Maillis extracted a lionfish from a pile at his side and demonstrated how to slice off the poisonous spines. Local fishermen came up and touched the fish. Later, everyone at the program tasted a slice of pan-fried lionfish.

Maillis works as a lawyer but comes from a family of commercial fishermen. The Maillis family traces its origin to Greece, and this heritage is what first gave Alexander the idea to serve lionfish in the Bahamas.

“Greeks in the Mediterranean have been eating lionfish for years with no ill effects,” Maillis says. Lionfish are not native to the Mediterranean, either. Members of Pterois miles, the less common species in the Atlantic invasion, invaded the Mediterranean sometime in the 1980s via the Suez Canal. “And it’s a highly prized panfish in the Pacific Rim.” Together with a cousin who is also a fisherman, Maillis taught himself how to handle and cook a lionfish. He learned that if he sliced off the venomous dorsal and anal fins, or if he cooked the fish at high temperatures, the lionfish became harmless. Lionfish flesh isn’t poisonous, and heat neutralizes the spines’ toxins.

Maillis says that his friends were doubtful about his new dish until he cut open a lionfish stomach and showed them the nine baby parrotfish and three small shrimp inside it. Seeing such a vast number of young prey inside a single fish illustrated what a voracious predator the lionfish could be. Now Maillis’ friends are on board. One of them got so swept up that when he later spotted a lionfish in the water off the beach, he rigged a spear from an umbrella and a knife, stabbed the lionfish, and cooked the fish for his family.

Read more:
Hey, I know Pericles Maillis!! Small world.

Posted in Ecological discussion and conservation forum, Reef Diving in Tulum | Leave a comment

Lionfish on Tulum Reefs!!

Yes Lionfish, coming to a reef near you!!
Our first report of a Lionfish seen diving on a tulum reef was 3 years ago. Now this year we have been seeing quite a few in the many small caves and swimthroughs on our reefs. Word has it this is not a good thing. They are trying to figure out what to do on Cozumel which has been overrun with these little nasties.
Some people are saying that they may destroy the reefs, I hope something or someone figures out how to eat them and soon. Maybe all the restaurants should put it on their menus. Just look at what that does to grouper populations. Sure as heck we don’t have too many big groupers left which are said to eat lionfish.
Makes you think, would the lionfish have a chance at breaking into a reef system in this area 100 years ago when all the species were in balance…

Posted in Ecological discussion and conservation forum, Reef Diving in Tulum | Leave a comment

Tulum Diving in September

Calling divers! Now is a great time to come down. The heat of summer is abating and the sea is still mostly calm so we can reef dive most days. Of course the cenotes are always good and not so busy at this time of year.

Posted in Reef Diving in Tulum | Leave a comment

Help Stop Development of Xcacel Beach

We have recently heard some shocking news that once again, the turtle sanctuary at Xcacel and Xcacelito is being threatened by encroaching development.

To find out more about Xcacel beach, what is being proposed and the potential harm it might do, see:

At this site you will also find a pre written letter that you can email to the appropriate person at SEMARNAT, the Mexican Ministry of the Environmemnt, if after reading it you are in agreement.

Please help us to stop the destruction of a vital habitat. Our turtles, reefs and mangroves need your support now before it is too late.

Posted in Ecological discussion and conservation forum, General comments and suggestions, Tim's soapbox | Leave a comment

Thanks for everything from Tiffany

I just wanted to let you all now how much my vacation meant to me.. My mom and I started out in the Discover Diving course at Dreams Tulum about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and found out (through some persuasion from Jamie) that this was everything we were looking for out of a vacation, and more. Our experience was phenomenal, but for me it was even more than that. It may sound corny, but I finally found everything I was looking for. Yes is changed my life.. I don’t want to sit behind a desk all day and let the world move on. I want to be a part of it. Since I have been home I have hooked up with some local divers and planned the next leg of my journey. My ultimate goal is an instructor, but for now we are settling on my advanced open water through PADI. Thank you all so much for opening my eyes to an entirely new adventure and tell Jamie that he rocks and he should really get that facebook page so that he can stay in touch.

Thanks so much


Posted in Guest Book, Instructors forum | Leave a comment

First Dive Club Barbecue!!

Calling all water lovers and divers. The Siren is calling.

Maya Dive Club’s first barbecue is happening!!!! this Saturday, Nov. 15th. 7 pm at El Crucero. If in doubt, scream and shout.

Write this down in your calendar, everyone else will write it in their history books but you will be able to put it in your memoirs (if you come).

Awesome live rock music, massive barbecue, all the booze you can afford (that bit’s not free), dancing on the floor, dancing on stage (the tables) in uniform (the lamp shades) and more.

We might even get some business attended to like when and where and who for our first club dive. We will vote on the secret club handshake and password so you’ve got to be there, your future’s at steak. Pass the barbecue sauce.

Posted in General comments and suggestions, Maya Dive club forum | 1 Comment

Maya Dive Club kickoff

It’s finally here, what you’ve all been waiting for (even if you did’nt know it).

Maya Dive club is starting to sign up members today.

What’s it all about and why would you want to join? The main idea behind the club is to provide repeat visitors and part or full time residents who dive or would like to learn to dive with an opportunity to meet, dive and have fun with other divers.

Here are some of the benefits that you can enjoy as a member:

  • Unlimited 25% discount from list prices of all Maya Diving services, courses and equipment sales

  • 10-25% discount from other selected Dive shops in the Yucatan region

  • Monthly club barbecue

  • Regular club trips to the Cenotes, Cozumel, Chinchorro Banks, Xcalak, Alacranes etc.

  • Regular club dive days to select, less visited local sites

  • Rescue Diver and Dive Master apprentice training programs for Club members

  • Annual Beach cleanup program

  • Participation in community service events to raise local awareness of reef and cenote conservation issues

  • Organized Club lectures from local experts on reef surveying and conservation, cave diving and exploration, Turtle conservation programs and other interesting topics.

Use our local knowledge and experience here at Maya Diving to help you enrich your visits or life in the area

Membership costs only $100 per year.

Posted in Maya Dive club forum | Leave a comment

Thank you

I would like to say Thank you to Danielito.

A 5 minute decision!
I got talked into getting certified with my husband Curtis.

You see I don’t really like the water, and had no plans of ever going scuba diving. First pool session – was very hard for me.
If it was not for Daniel’s patience and passion for diving – I may have chickened out.

December 19th we completed our last dive for certification with a flip in the water.

I am excited and look forward to our next trip. We will return to Tulum and Maya Diving.


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Tulum marine conservation zone project ideas

For any one who is interested, I am planning to begin work with some other people to begin the processes necessary for the establishment of a marine reserve in the Tulum area. Beginning in January 2008 we will begin discussions with a local lawyer and accountant to form a non-profit foundation with a charter of seeking and administering aid and donations for conservation and protection of a local reef area to be defined but initially we are considering dividing the reefs into take and no take zones and working with local fishermen and enlisting the aid of enforcement officials to control and protect the no take zones.

Other measures would include:

  • Establishing permanent moorings in shallow reef areas for snorkeling and diving boats to safely moor without reef damage.
  • Providing educational materials regarding reef ecosystems and the importance of conserving them.
  • Collecting research materials from many sources to support the validity and importance of the proposed protected zones for the long term viability of the most important economic activities in the area, snorkeling, diving and fishing both commercial and recreational.

In the early stages, we will need to secure some funding sources and accumulate some funds to cover the costs of the registration and legal processes. We will try as much as possible to get professionals to donate their services.

I will make more posts as the project progresses.

Posted in Ecological discussion and conservation forum, Tim's soapbox | 1 Comment

Christmas party

Saturday night we had a little fiesta at El Crucero. It was fun, Santa Mark and his little elf Sharon even delivered some gifts for the good little boys and girls who came.

Conrad wandered around and took some photos, not too bad for a 6 year old:

I think he might have been moving a bit, nic elight effects though Party at El Crucero Might be having some fun at El Crucero Oh oh, more fun and a few beverages going around

I'm having a good time , mmm cake and beer

That’s Conrad there on the right and the one with the silly grin, well that’s me, Tim.

Posted in Tim's soapbox, Tulum accommodations | Leave a comment