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Venomous Lionfish Spreading Throughout Keys


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Source: The Miami Herald

February 8, 2010

 

Key Largo, Florida - The lionfish, a beautiful but venomous invasive species, has slowly begun spreading throughout the Florida Keys, wreaking havoc to the marine environment.

 

The Miami Herald reports that more than 80 of the intruders have been documented over the last year. They were found from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas, and so far, all have been juveniles.

 

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Bad fishy... (enforcer)

 

It appears that hurricane waters may have allowed for this ornamental fish to be released into the wild. I am sure that there have probably been other releases as well.

 

The question that we should really be asking is, do we now let them have free reign of our Carribean and Atlantic waters or do we add them to the menus of local resaurants as a delicacy? That may sound like a silly question but it may also have some utility though larger brains than mine need to think this one through.

 

They are definately proving to be farely destructive to indigenous reefs. I really love my royal grammas and don't particularly care for lionfish much lol. :p

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The warm waters of the Gulf Stream take marine tropicals up north during the Summer months, but the populations will not become established as Winter sets in. I have read about people collecting juvenile tropical marine fish from tidepools in NY and NJ during the Summer for their aquariums!

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