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!
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.
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