In 2011, while on the Island of Curacao and at the request of a friend, Allie ElHage set out to design a containment device for containing speared lionfish. The primary focus and design criteria was Diver Safety with Efficiency being second. This device would be used by scuba divers that remove the invasive lionfish off the coral reefs. With safety a main issue, due to the venomous spines of the lionfish, a diver must be able to contain the lionfish so that minimal harm came to the diver. After various designs being tested, the Lionfish Containment Unit (LCU) was finalized.
The LCU proved to be successful in allowing scuba divers to safely remove large quantities of lionfish. Its simple design and ease of use allowed divers to be more efficient in removing large quantities of lionfish, giving our marine eco-system breathing room from these invasive species.
In 2012, ZooKeeper was moved to Sarasota, Florida. Here, we re-designed the components, created plastic injection molds for each, and began production in March 2013.
While the LCU gained momentum in becoming the preferred containment device among divers and Dive Shops, we continued to prototype. At the request of users, we prototyped a small expandable LCU with the use of "Turtleskin" aramid puncture resistant materials. The PRO X was introduced at DEMA 2013.
Currently, we are testing a new prototype for commercial use.
Moving forward, we are continuously improving our product line with LCU's for commercial application as lionfish gains ground in that market.