[Coral-List] Lionfish introduction/invasion

Rudy Bonn rudy_bonn at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 27 15:54:48 EST 2011

On a more serious note and something that has not been posted on the list is the fact that lionfish are cryptic, and somewhat charismatic as a result of their beauty, and I think all of us will agree that they are a fish thats nice to look at.  So, it has been demonstrated that anytime recreational divers, not well trained, come into contact with lets say a seahorse or a frogfish or in this case a Feathered Devil Scorpion fish, it alters their behavior to the point where physical contact with corals increases by several orders of magnitude.  If you have all these divers out there looking to kill lionfish, noting also that they (the lionfish) prefer to hide under ledges and in crevices in the reef, you are going to have an increase in the amount of physical contact with the reef, which will add another stressor to the ones already assaulting coral reef ecosystems.  I have seen, myself, people flipping over coral heads, and coming into contact with the
 reef while hunting lobsters here in the keys.  I can only hope that the majority of divers out there looking to kill lionfish will have in mind the consequnces associated with coming into contact with the corals themselves.  Other organisms are involved here besides prey items, and corals are another one that may suffer as a result of this all out assault on lionfish if divers are not properly informed and carry with them a conscious along with their other weapons!   
Rudy S Bonn
Director of Marine Projects
Reef Relief
631 Greene Street
Key West, FL 33040


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