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Welcome to thefrapper.com

Home of Team Frapper

(Proudly removing invasive lionfish from Atlantic and
Caribbean waters since 2009)

All contributions support our relentless efforts to mitigate the damage this invasive
species has brought to our ecosystems

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What is Team Frapper?

Team Frapper was first conceived back in 2009 by Bob Hickerson and then fiancé, Maria Andreu shortly after their first encounter with a lionfish in Caribbean waters. Upon their return home to Florida and witnessing the arrival of these unwanted visitors in their local waters, they went to work developing new tools to combat this threat. A small, compact spear was needed and the first version of The Frapper was born. They are joined now by an international collection of divers and environmentalists who volunteer their time in an effort to mitigate the damage these invaders cause.
Bob and Maria also set out to help educate not only their fellow divers but the general public as well. Numerous public lectures and appearances at Environmental Events followed and continue to this day. New tools were developed such as the Frapper Catch Bag, The Frapper Measuring/ Cutting Board, The Frapper Pole Spears, Lionfish Jewelry made from the non-venomous tails and more to come!

What were the early days

Excerpt from a newspaper article written by Ed Killer, Outdoor Writer at TC Palm 2010:

Bob Hickerson and fiancee Maria Andreu have developed a lionfish eradication tool that enables divers to spear lionfish and remove them from reefs without handling the venomous invader. The tool is called The Frapper and it is essentially a mini-spear encased in tubing.

What the future holds

These are exciting times! Many organizations are becoming more and more active in the lionfish removal process. New tools are being introduced to improve diver-efficiency and safety. Seafood markets and restaurants are embracing this new product and the demand increases daily. New and more efficient removal methods are being developed as we speak. Beautiful Lionfish Jewelry is being created by artisans throughout the Caribbean utilizing their dried fins and spines.

Most experts in this field agree that lionfish trapping will be the next big development, especially if a “Lionfish-Specific Trap” is successfully produced.
Team Frapper is working on just such a project. We have the collaboration of the United States Geological Society and Florida Institute of Technology. We have the support and encouragement of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as well. We are also being encouraged by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Cayman Islands Department of Environment to start testing in their waters.
Stay tuned for updates on this and other exciting projects!

And…thanks for visiting our website!
Bob and Maria Hickerson
Founders: Team Frapper

The Early Days – the history behind THE FRAPPER

Would you like to know more?

Before heading out on your next dive, read-up on this subject:

http://www.reef.org/programs/exotic/lionfish/resources

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/sightingreport.aspx

http://myfwc.com/lionfish

http://maps.coastalscience.noaa.gov/lionfish/

http://lionfish.gcfi.org/index.php

These sites have an abundant amount of information on this ongoing problem along with sighting protocols to be used at the time of an encounter.

Who we are – About Frapper

Excerpt from a newspaper article written by Ed Killer at TC Palm 2010

Bob Hickerson and fiancee Maria Andreu have developed a lionfish eradication tool that enables divers to spear lionfish and remove them from reefs without handling the venomous invader. The tool is called The Frapper and it is essentially a mini-spear encased in tubing. Divers can actually strap The Frapper to a leg or clip to a buoyancy compensation device leaving the diver hands free to perform other tasks. Hickerson has applied for a patent and plans to make them available for sale soon.

Bob Hickerson, a Vero Beach general contractor and fiancee Maria Andreu, a dive instructor, are avid divers that met six years ago and share a love for the ocean. As self-proclaimed “proactive environmentalists,” the pair enjoys traveling to favorite tropical diving destinations where they often spend their time photographing the colorful and diverse underwater coral reefs.

  • It is designed to be used at close range on small targets, Hickerson said.
  • It’s a passive instrument — just strong enough to be used for something like lionfish.
  • All the lionfish collected by Team Frapper during the roundups were done so using the unique device.