[Coral-List] Exotic vs. Invasive

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Tue Feb 19 14:43:38 EST 2013

Dear Mike:

I will leave it up to those on the list who have the references about the lionfish invasion history handy to send you the historical references you seek  (or better yet, you can go to Coral-List digest and you will find them in there somewhere...or Google lionfish).  

My major reason for replying to your query is to comment that: who are we, the humans who have overfished the Caribbean coral reefs and those all over the world as well, to call out the lionfish for being a major predator of Caribbean reef fishes.  Sounds like the kettle calling the pot black.  I guess we don't want the lionfishes to eat the fishes that we want to catch for ourselves?  Reminds me of the Newfoundland baby seal fishermen (slaughtermen?) justifying the slaughter based on the complaint that the seals ate up all the cod leaving none for the humans!

I suggest that all those folks who are so upset about the lionfish invasion hurting native Caribbean coral reef fishes do their bit by not fishing or eating any of these reef fishes to help their populations recover!


Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Professor of Marine Biology
Center for Marine Science and Dept of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409 USA
tel:  910-962-2362  fax: 910-962-2410  cell: 910-200-3913

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of J. Michael Nolan
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:27 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Exotic vs. Invasive

Dr. Szmant....

We have e-mailed a few times over the years and I am far from being any kind of a Marine Expert like you or the bulk of this list. I was under the impression that Lionfish were quite predatory and having a big impact on Tropical Fish Populations in the Caribbean?

I read articles like this: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717164319.htm

So, somebody on the list please clarify this for me. Actually, I see that their range is spreading. If they are truly invasive/exotic....I could probably find this somewhere, how did they get into the Caribbean in the first place? Has to be some kind of Human's are responsible kind of issue?

Yes, no doubt they are gorgeous Animals to look at.

Thanks for any clarification.

Mike Nolan


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