Photgraphed the above lionfish while snorkeling in Bottom Harbour, N Eleuthera. There are several small patch reefs between Bottom Harbour Club and Cistern Cay a few hundred feet from shore. Everyone, no matter how small had at least 1 lionfish and several single rock reefs had 3 of them. We saw in total 12 to 15 size varied from very small 3inch to about 8 inch.
What's The Problem? (copied from the Reef website)For a quick one-page fact sheet put together by REEF, USGS, NOAA, and Simon Fraser University on invasive lionfish, click here.
Lionfish are:• Voracious predators being shown to eat native fish and crustaceans in large quantities. (Juvenile Nassau grouper have been found in lionfish stomachs in the Bahamas)• Not known to have any native predators• Equipped with venomous dorsal, ventral and anal spines, which deter predators and can cause painful wounds in humans.• Capable of reproducing year-round with unique reproduction mechanisms not commonly found in native fishes• Relatively resistant to parasites, giving them another advantage over native species• Fast in their growth, able to outgrow native species with whom they compete for food and space.
Non-native marine fishes can pose a major threat to marine fisheries, habitats and eco-system function. Increased reports of non-nativespecies and the successful invasion of lionfish in Atlantic waters have proven the need for early warning and rapid response to confirmed sightings. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), has been working with Federal, State and local partners as well as divers and dive operators, public aquaria and foreign fisheries departments to enact rapid response documentation and removals and assist with scientific investigations related to non-native marine species.