Lionfish have been invading Florida’s coastal waters for many years but recent accounts indicate they are rapidly growing. The lionfish invasion was first thought to have been started after hurricane Andrew in 1992, when a beachside aquarium was destroyed, however in recent years, it was proven to be caused by release of fish and eggs into our water by aquarium owners and traders. The DNA taken from captured lionfish in Florida indicate all the lionfish probably originated from same six to eight female fish. (Linendoll)
Lionfish, scientifically known as Pterois Volitans, is a genus of venomous marine fish, typically found in the Indo-Pacific region of the Pacific Ocean. Ecologists’ records indicate the first sighting of lionfish in Florida was off the coast of Dania Beach in 1985. By the year 2002, sightings up the Atlantic coast were reported and in 2010 the first reports in the Gulf of Mexico were made off of the coast of Pensacola. Lionfish thrive in shallow, warm waters, such as Florida’s, but they have been found ...
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...lion dollars could be lost this year if the lionfish are not completely controlled (Wurzbacher). Even though the lionfish invasion cannot be stopped, at least methods to help reduce its effects exist. Education is the key to help manage the populations of lionfish; we must continue to educate the citizens of Florida so this problem can be controlled. Hopefully, if awareness is raised and the people become more and more educated about the invasion then they will know what to do when they see a lionfish and the steps to report it or kill it. If everybody does their part in stopping the lionfish, then maybe it is possible to get the species under control. However, if this issue is ignored then the whole economy will suffer greatly. Lionfish pose a direct threat to Florida’s tourism based economy, one that will continue to grow exponentially if not immediately stopped.
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