[Coral-List] Lionfish in St. Croix
kynoch_reale at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 20 19:40:28 EST 2011
Hello coral-list community!
I just wanted to share my personal account of witnessing possibly the most
detrimental invasion to marine ecology in history.
I am taken aback by the severity of this invasion. It was one thing to read
about the devastating accounts in the literature, but to watch it happen has
made the hair on my neck stand up.
The first confirmed lionfish in St. Croix, USVI was in Nov. 2008. There was then
a dry spell, followed by a rapid, exponential population explosion. In just over
2 years, we went from routine, strategic lionfish searches resulting in zero (0)
sightings, to extractions on almost every dive.
My husband and I pulled out six (6) lionfish from the bay outside our home in
the last week, all of which were in less than 8 feet of water! The six lionfish
we extracted ranged from approx. 1 to 6 inches in length. Never before had we
even seen one in the last 1.5 years of snorkeling this same bay.
Because of a very small group of amazing people, a lot has been done in an
effort to mitigate the problem here, but I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed.
University of the Virgin Islands
V.I Resource Conservation & Development
"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we
understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."
~Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist
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