[Coral-List] Lionfish in Belize

Mark A. Albins albinsm at science.oregonstate.edu
Sat Dec 20 01:49:07 EST 2008

Hi Katherine,

Our lab has been conducting a broad range of lionfish research over  
the last two years, focusing primarily on their interactions with  
native Bahamian reef fish.  I've attached a pdf of our recent MEPS  
publication, in which we document that single lionfish transplanted  
onto small patch reefs reduce recruitment of native fishes by nearly  
80%!  Unfortunately, lionfish are currently spreading rapidly westward  
and southward, and it is likely only a matter of time before this  
ravenous, invasive predator is literally all over the Caribbean.  This  
does not bode well for native reef communities.

I'd be more than happy to take a look at your photos and help to  
confirm the species ID.

I also strongly suggest that you report your lionfish sighting to the  
USGS aquatic invasive species database.

Report sightings here: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/SightingReport.asp

They seem to have the most comprehensive online compilation of  
lionfish sightings, as well as a recently updated fact sheet:


You can see from their maps (see links in fact sheet) that your  
sighting, if confirmed, will be the first from Central America.

Please let me know if you have any questions about our research, or  
about lionfish in general.  I'd be happy to try to answer them, or  
refer you to someone who can.



Mark A. Albins
Department of Zoology
Oregon State University
3029 Cordley Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-2914
phone:  (541) 740-7747
fax:     (541) 737-0501

In response to:

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 20:47:50 -0600
From: "Katherine Cure" <katherine.cure at gmail.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] Lionfish in Belize
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
         <28e7be5b0812181847v5e217377oa8e22a980675b7b8 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Hello to all,
I just got the first report for lionfishes at Turneffe Atoll, Belize.
I haven't personally seen them, but got the report from dive master at The
Agressor, a local liveaboard.
Pictures, gotten by a local diver on the eastern side of Turneffe are
available for species ID.
Can those colleagues involved in dealing with this invasive species contact
me with further information?

Katherine Cure, M.Sc.
Field Coordinator/Coral Reef Researcher
Oceanic Society
Blackbird Caye, Belize
T: (501) 220-4256

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