Invasive lionfish likely to become permanent residents in the Mediterranean
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APRIL 28, 2020
by Alan Williams, University of Plymouth
An invasive species first identified in the Mediterranean Sea just eight years ago is likely to become a permanent feature of the region, a new study suggests.
First seen off the coast of Cyprus in 2012, lionfish (Pterois miles) are now thriving and well-established in the area and across southern Europe.
However, the increasing densities observed over time—combined with the species’ generalist diet and consumption of ecologically and socio-economically important fish—may result in further disruption of an already stressed marine environment.
The scale of spread would suggest the lionfish cannot be eradicated, with scientists writing in the Journal of Fish Biology suggesting the development of a dedicated lionfish industry could help manage the situation and lessen some of the species’ negative impacts.
April 28, 2020 at 3:23 PM #309156The Red MenaceParticipant
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Kind of surprised that it’s taken lionfish this long to reach the Mediterranean. Hundreds of other species have traveled the Suez canal from the Red sea to the Mediterranean. I suppose that maybe the eggs and adults have a hard time surviving in the canal itself long enough to cross?
April 28, 2020 at 8:33 PM #309206HassleCatParticipant
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People are encouraged to fish for them, and there is a rowing commercial fishery for lionfish. The poisonous spines are the sticking point. (!) I saw an article in a Florida paper where they interviewed someone who works at cutting up lionfish every day. He described how it feels to get stabbed with a spine. “Have friend standing by with a baseball bat and a red hot needle. Have him hit you on the arm with the baseball bat and then stick the red hot needle in the place where he just hit you.” In spite of this, people do fish for them because they’re reported to be tasty.
April 29, 2020 at 2:54 AM #309317
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