[Coral-List] Lion fish question

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 17 21:44:07 EDT 2013

   Hi Steve,

       Many reef species are quickly learning to feed on speared lion fish
   throughout the Caribbean. I've seen grouper, snapper, sharks, eels and even
   lobster eagerly consume conveniently filleted hand outs. Even to the point
   that they will often hover aggressively over live lion fish waiting for the
   kill shot. Nurse sharks that previously had to be quietly approached, now
   swim  ever  so  close  to divers in areas where they are fed lion fish
   with regularity.   Dive   masters  in some areas  now  claim  to  have
   witnessed varied species taking live lion fish on their own. I haven't
   witnessed this myself as yet, but I see no reason for embellishment.



     -----Original Message-----
     From: Steve S
     Sent: Apr 17, 2013 5:45 PM
     To: Steve Mussman
     Cc: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
     Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Lion fish question

   "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 <[1]sealab at earthlink.net>

        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
        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
        learning to feed on lion fish.
        As far as I know reef fish are still abundant on the Pacific reefs
        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
        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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   1. mailto:sealab at earthlink.net
   2. http://www.npr.org/2013/04/17/177359109/lionfish-attack-the-gulf-of-mexico-l
   3. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   4. http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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