Who would have thought this gorgeous fish would be a menace to (marine) society?
This photo from animal-wildlife.blogspot.com, shows the Lionfish in all his glory. Fishing contest contenders and environmental activists are on the same side when it comes to ridding the Caribbean of this invasive species. Native to the Indian Ocean, they were accidentally introduce into Caribbean waters from a Florida aquarium. And when it comes to the survival of the species, these guys are the best. They are stealthy hunters able to inject a poison into prey that is potent enough to cause pain to humans. They have no natural predators, and become sexually mature at one-year-old, reproducing every four days, “a single female lionfish can spawn over 2 million eggs/year… On heavily invaded sites, Lionfish have reduced their fish prey by up to 90% and continue to consume native fishes at unsustainable rates” (read more from NOAA).
The good news is, they are considered a delicacy! Conservation and culinary delights collide ceremoniously with the Lionfish. Read more about the efforts.