Thursday, April 30, 2015

First sighting of lionfish in Brazil

On the heels of another article which discussed the possibility of multiple introductions of lionfish to the Caribbean, an article was published discussing the implication of the first encounter of a lionfish off the Brazilian coast was spotted May 2014.  The lionfish was found by recreational divers and they alerted local authorities, which underscores the need to educate the public about invasive species concerns.  At a reproduction rate of more than two million eggs per year and no natural predators, invading lionfish are seemingly unstoppable.  They are of particular concern near reefs, which are already vulnerable to habitat destruction and pollution, where they can quickly reduce populations of native fish.  When the Brazilian lionfish was captured and the stomach contents analyzed, that one fish had 15 of the critically endangered social wrasse (Halichoeres socialis) and it was only half of the contents of the stomach.

lionfish (Pterois volitans) by U.S. Geological Survey Archive, U.S. Geological Survey,
If you happen to catch or see lionfish while fishing, diving, or otherwise recreating be sure to let local authorities know.

If you want to report a lionfish sighting or capture: EDDMapS or one of the BugwoodApps
The original article: First invasive lionfish in Brazil: Urgent control measures needed to protect coral reefs
Article on lionfish introductions: Genetics provides new clues about lionfish invasion
For more images: Pterois volitans
BugwoodWiki: Pterois volitans