[Coral-List] Lion fish question

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 08:54:50 EDT 2013

I trust there are experiments or quasi-experiments being implemented to
test the efficacy of lionfish removal in the medium to long run(?)

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

>    Lad,
>    I have concernedly read several of the papers that have been published
> on
>    the subject and donât disagree with conclusions indicating that
> lionfish are
>    affecting the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems and
> that
>    predation  by  lionfish is having negative effects on native reef fish
>    communities. I also find it logical to assume that lionfish mortality is
>    highest in the egg, larval and juvenile stages as it is with most other
>    species. Therefore, Bruceâs comments that attention needs to be focused
> on
>    all aspects of the life cycle when it comes to population control is
> well
>    received. Whether predation of adult lionfish could contribute further
> to
>    their control if healthy populations of larger fish existed has yet to
> be
>    determined and is likely far more difficult to ascertain. But I would
> think
>    that  populations  of  both  planktivores and top level predators look
>    depauperate when contrasting Indo-Pacific reefs to areas of the Western
>    Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
>    I did not mean to suggest that divers are misguided in their attempts to
>    control lionfish populations. These efforts can be helpful to some
> extent if
>    carried out responsibly. At the same time I would hasten to suggest that
>    significant  damage  to  coral  reefs can occur if lionfish hunting is
>    over-hyped. Iâve seen too many over-zealous divers damage reefs in
> pursuit
>    of  their prey during the highly regulated lobster season. Imagine the
>    carnage  if  no  oversight  or  limitations existed. As to the overall
>    effectiveness of current strategies to minimize impact and allow for the
>    recovery of native reef fish populations, that remains to be seen, but
> there
>    is reason for hesitancy. For one thing, lionfish are known to inhabit
> zones
>    well beyond the depth limits of the sport diving community.
>    Where we agree is on the need to focus on the assumption that we should
> be
>    advocating a more comprehensive approach. I certainly support all
> efforts by
>    the diving industry to address the various threats to marine ecosystems
> and
>    promote conservation, but I still find it troubling that this particular
>    threat  is so enthusiastically embraced while other, perhaps even more
>    prominent issues are met with indifference. {Green et al} may have made
> an
>    effective argument for lionfish controls, but think of the multitude of
>    papers {along with the ICRS consensus statement} drawing attention to
> the
>    threats that climate change holds for coral reefs that this same
> industry
>    conspicuously chooses to ignore.
>    Regards,
>     Steve
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Sent from my Windoze lump

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