[Coral-List] Connectivity and Lion Fish

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue May 31 09:48:38 EDT 2011

Thank you Matthew, Your paper is most interesting. Several things 
stand out. There are no Lion Fish sightings in the windward islands? 
Only one sighting in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida? There were early 
abundant sightings in the Bahamas and off the Carolinas long before 
they were seen in the Florida Keys in 2009! I find it surprising that 
they are present off New York but not in the northern Gulf of Mexico?
      In 1981 I observed them in abundance  beneath oil rigs off the 
Philippines. One would think they should also occur under the rigs in 
the northern Gulf of Mexico or at the Flower Gardens or Stetson bank 
which is constantly monitored. Hopefully this posting will stimulate 
some sightings in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Last summer USGS 
divers (total of 12 divers) spent many hours core drilling 50 feet at 
the Florida Middle Grounds. Had they been present lion fish should 
have been spotted by this team of divers.
      Lack of Lion fish in the windward islands is not too surprising 
due to the Trade Winds-assisted westward current flow. I am reminded 
that that back in 1983 the Diadema sp blight reached the windward 
islands reefs in less than a year. The Caribbean-wide sea fan  blight 
caused by the soil fungus Aspergillus sydowii  also reached the 
windward islands including San Salvador. How  fungal spores can 
travel upcurrent to places like San Salvador remains a mystery. And 
don't forget the  Acropora blight that Also peaked most everywhere in 
the Caribbean between 1983 and 1984.
     One hypothesis for the early proliferation of Lion Fish in the 
Bahamas points to the huge Atlantis aquarium off Nassau. They filter 
the sea water going in but not going out!


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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