Lionfish an Invasive Species

Lionfish: Hunting the Predator.

A vicious invasive predator is ruining coral reefs along the United States Atlantic seashore, down in Mexico and even in the Mediterranean. Named lionfish for its elaborate main of venomous spikes, the hungry predator is gobbling up the native fish that’s vital to the ecosystem and corals’ health. An invader from the Indo-Pacific, lionfish spawns hundreds of thousands of eggs, and has no native predators—and those that try to swallow it, get a painful string from its spikes. The only predators to prey on the invincible creature and save the corals are humans.

But lionfish isn’t easy to catch. It swims deep amongst the reefs, so one can throw neither a line nor a net. So divers from near and far unite against the invasive species, diving specifically to catch it—and pass onto the local chefs to serve to people. Can they snatch enough to rid the reefs of the insatiable raider? Lionfish, the documentary, dives deep to unearth the answer. With beautiful underwater photography, spinetingling spearfishing hunts, and interviews with experts, Lionfish takes one down into the coral forests, immersing the audience in marine wonders, dangers and the delicate ecosystems’ balance. Hop onboard, join the crew and hunt the predator.

  • Dennis Cieri
    Brew York, Food Truck Foodie,
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 32 seconds
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Dennis Cieri

In his multi-decade cinema career, Dennis had worked in the film and theater in capacities ranging from a grip to a director. In 2003 he directed and produced his first full-length feature, Greetings from the Internet, about the early days of online human drama, screened in NYC to critical acclaim. Three years later he released another full-length Three Deaths and a Date, a dramedy in which nobody dies, premiered at the Wildwood Film Festival. Dennis’s other film and TV projects focused on social justice, human culture and environmental storytelling. His travel series, Beyond Moscow, which featured five undiscovered Russian cities through historical narratives interwoven with modern culture, has been acquired my Amazon Prime in 2017, and later by SES, a European TV network broadcasting to over 300 million homes worldwide.

Among other works, Dennis produced several mini-documentaries, including Redesigning the Sanitation System for JSTOR Daily, featuring novel waterless toilets piloted in Madagascar; What’s in Brooklyn Gowanus Canal? for Hakai Magazine about rare and unique microbes dwelling in one of the most polluted waterways in North America; and an exploration into the Amazon rainforest fires titled Can The Amazon Survive? In his short, The End of Fair Trade, he investigated how Internet bots force consumers to settle for higher prices based on their perceived ability to pay, which is calculated using personal information gathered on the web. He also released a number of food and drink series, including Food Track Foodie, Black Ant, and BrewYork, about NYC's beer industry. His most recent works include travel documentaries about Mexico’s hidden gem of San Miguel, Wisconsin’s indigenous culinary heritage, Belgrade’s booming cuisine, and other lifestyle pieces highlighting cultures and traditions worldwide. He is currently finishing his environmental documentary Lionfish, about diver communities fighting invasive species to save the coral reefs.

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