[Coral-List] Lion fish question

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 17 14:15:04 EDT 2013

   This story is among many that has appeared recently in the main stream
   media. It compares the impact
   of lion fish to "a living oil spill".
   My  question  is  what  scientific evidence is there that reduced fish
   populations and / or reef decline
   is directly related to the lion fish invasion?
   Is it possible that lion fish are in fact becoming a convenient scapegoat?
   I realize that they are likely contributing to the problem, but are we
   overlooking other more prominent factors?
   Natural predatory behavior seems to be developing as some reef species are
   learning to feed on lion fish.
   As far as I know reef fish are still abundant on the Pacific reefs where
   lion fish are indigenous even though
   they have few known predators in their natural surroundings.
   I just returned from a Caribbean destination where it appeared obvious based
   on my personal baseline that
   the reefs are in decline. There were many lion fish spotted and speared, but
   do we really know if the impact
   of this invasive species is as profound as many are asserting?

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