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Old 06-08-2009, 09:19 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Some more information about the invader:

"Some interesting Lionfish facts from the Shedd Aquarium, http://www.sheddaquarium.org/SEA/fact_sheets.cfm?id=80

Male lionfish are territorial, which means they stick close to a specific area where they always live and mate. Even the females live in specific areas on the reef. One male defends a territory where a few females also live...
At dusk, the pair of lionfish rush to the surface to pelagic spawn, which means they mate in an area that the fertilized eggs will be taken away on the currents to drift into the open ocean. The female will release 2,000 to 15,000 eggs that are fertilized by the male. The pair then quickly dashes down to the reef to hide. By doing this so swiftly, the eggs are left to float off to far away reefs before egg eating predators can see them. The eggs hatch 36 hours later and the larvae remain in the epipelagic zone or the zone in the open ocean near the surface. When the small fish grow to a half an inch (12 mm) long, they will swim down and join a reef community.


This explains a great deal about their rapid spread up the Gulf Stream from the Bahamas. The sedentary adults also gives some hope of keeping some areas relatively free as long as there isn't a breeding population up current. However, since they are already established in the Caymens and the Cuban coast as well as the Bahamas, it is almost inevitable that they will eventually be distributed through the Caribbean and the Gulf.

I can't relocate the sites, but I've seen several mentions of groupers as possible predators. If that is true, then increased protection of groupers may be needed to help control Lionfish population. I also saw a mention of traps being used with some success. If the by catch is reasonably low, such traps may make commercial fishing possible.

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/flo...h-death-7.html

and

Good information, thanks for posting it. I have heard about only one individual being seen on Little Cayman. Of course that was almost a year ago. Just checked, things have become more crowded there. Also the Cayman government has come up with an interesting response.** I heard four had been seen off Cozumel about three months ago. Strongly advised they put a bounty on them. Read about a restaurant in Nassau that pays $12. to $15. USD a pound for lionfish. One thing is for certain, if the fish has value we're very good at depleting stocks. Have at it.

** http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/pipermail...ay/038754.html
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