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Old 12-16-2013, 09:18 PM
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"VORACIOUS PREDATOR: Lionfish are voracious predators; their stomachs can expand and they eat “anything that will fit into their mouths,” according to one scientist. All of these fishes came from the stomach of this one small lionfish. "

Six years after the start of this post, an article about lionfish appeared in the most recent issue of "Scientific American."

" As Lionfish Invade the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, Conservationists Say Eat Up [Slide Show]
The species is wreaking havoc on reef communities, prompting efforts to encourage the public to catch and eat the fish
By Melissa Gaskill

Conservationists wrestling with the problem of invasive lionfish have suggested that recreationally and commercially harvesting the predatory species for food could put a big dent in its numbers. New findings bolster that view. In one-day derby events in the Florida Keys and Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas, participants caught 1,400 of the fish, reducing local populations of this invasive species by 60 percent. They also enthusiastically ate much of the catch. Stephanie Green, a research fellow at Oregon State University, reported the derby results to the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) in Corpus Christi, Texas, in November.

Lionfish arrived in the South Atlantic in 1985, most likely released by private aquarium owners, and have caused native fish populations there to decline by up to 80 percent. In the Bahamas between 2008 and 2010 they reduced biomass of 42 other fishes by an average of 65 percent. By 2013, lionfish had spread throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, reaching densities well above those in their native Indo-Pacific habitat and, unlike most invasive species, have shown no signs of slowing down (animation). The invasion may be “one of the greatest threats of this century to warm temperate and tropical Atlantic reefs and associated habitats,” wrote National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist James A. Morris, Jr., in Invasive Lionfish: A Guide to Control and Management (pdf)."

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