[Coral-List] Lion fish question

Steve S wpbdiver at bellsouth.net
Wed Apr 17 17:45:00 EDT 2013

"Natural predatory behavior seems to be developing as some reef species are
learning to feed on lion fish."

I'm in Palm Beach and I have witnessed a grouper inspect a dead lionfish
(one that was speared and left for dead). It was actually quite amazing -
kind of like dogs or cats (or any other natural predator) inspecting
something they were not familiar with.
The grouper actually picked at it, unsure of what to do with it.

On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

>    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".
> http://www.npr.org/2013/04/17/177359109/lionfish-attack-the-gulf-of-mexico-l
>    ike-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?
>    Regards,
>     Steve
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