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Author Topic: Are lion fish an invasive species?  (Read 17529 times)

Offline SETF

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« on: 03/02/2009 02:47:41 »
OK. So every species has evolved some niche in its environment no matter how negligent or dangerous or invasive it may seem to us as humans.

Where i live in the West Indies, there has just been a sighting of a [tiger - mod edit] lion fish off the shores of Caraςou. Shamefully to say this exotic beautiful creature has now been deemed dangerous by one of the countries of the West Indies, where persons are told to kill these fishes when they come into contact whistle fishing.

I strongly think it will not stop there! Persons given that (did i forget to mention monetary incentive) will go hunting down these creatures till they are endangered to this region.

If this species is really invasive as they are making it out to be the Government of that country needs to research what is the underlying reason for this species of fish presence in its new ecosystem, join forces with marine conservationist and resolve the problem! >:(
« Last Edit: 03/02/2009 18:16:22 by chris »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/2009 09:41:21 »
SETF - I echo your sentiments. Killing "dangerous" animals is the easy way out. In the case of fish, whether or not it is a newcomer to the area, we are invading their territory. Other solutions should be sought.

Are you sure that's a tiger fish? As far as I'm aware tiger fish look like ordinary, slender fish; i.e. without all the frills and tassles. I know there are several different types, but I've never seen 1 like the fish in your picture. Maybe a resident marine expert can confirm.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #2 on: 03/02/2009 09:48:03 »
It looks more like a Lion fish...

« Last Edit: 03/02/2009 09:50:39 by dentstudent »
 

Offline dentstudent

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #3 on: 03/02/2009 10:01:02 »
It depends on how it has got to become "invasive". If this fish has become acclimated to the seas where you are, this may be a consequence of natural movement and development of the species. There are similar examples of this in the UK, where otherwise "alien" fish species and birds have begun to use the UK as an extension of their own ecotone. It would follow that there is some balance to the system. If however, they are there due to being released into the sea, then this is truly non-native and potentially invasive. The dichotomy is that the fish shouldn't be there as it appears to be disruptive, but since it is a "pretty" fish, there may be reluctance to remove it from the area. We see this too in the UK, with various non-native deer species, grey squirrels and rabbits.

So, my point is: If it is there through natural expansion of its ecotone, leave it. If it is there through human intervenion and is a pest, humanely remove them. If it is there through human intervention and is not a pest, let them be. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition!
« Last Edit: 03/02/2009 10:02:56 by dentstudent »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #4 on: 03/02/2009 10:11:50 »
Stuart - I think you're right; it's a lion fish. It looked familiar but I couldn't think what it was.

What NatGeo says about them:-

Pretty much everything about the venomous lionfish—its red-and-white zebra stripes, long, showy pectoral fins, and generally cantankerous demeanor—says, "Don't touch!"

The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. It relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture prey, mainly fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal.

Lionfish, also called turkey fish, dragon fish and scorpion fish, are native to the reefs and rocky crevices of the Indo-Pacific, although they've found their way to warm ocean habitats worldwide.

The largest of lionfish can grow to about 15 inches (0.4 meters) in length, but the average is closer to 1 foot (0.3 meters).

Lionfish are popular in some parts of the world as food, but are far more prized in the aquarium trade. Their population numbers are healthy and their distribution is growing, causing some concerned in the United States, where some feel the success of this non-indigenous species presents human and environmental dangers


So it seems it may be a natural migration into the area.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #5 on: 03/02/2009 10:40:18 »
So, let them be....

This following quote needs attention:

"Their population numbers are healthy and their distribution is growing, causing some concerned in the United States, where some feel the success of this non-indigenous species presents human and environmental dangers"

This sentence is internally inconsistent. If a species has through its own success migrated into a new area, it is still indigenous - vis:

"In biogeography, a species is defined as indigenous or native to a given region or ecosystem, if its presence in that region is the result of only natural resources, with no human intervention. Every natural organism (as opposed to domesticated organisms) has its own natural range of distribution, in which it is regarded as native".

What they actually mean is that the Lion fish is not endemic to its new ecotone. However, this is no reason to remove it.
 

Offline SETF

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #6 on: 03/02/2009 17:02:19 »
Thanks for the correction folks.

Now i accept that they are a dangerous and beautiful species.  I'm just saying the Government of a single country in the region should not encourage its citizens to purposely predate these fishes for reward! (what ever it may be) That's what I'm getting at.

In the long run this 'human intervention' will turn out to be catastrophic to the species. There are those who agree that the lionfish needs to be 'eradicated' to protect the other fish species found in that ecosystem.   This country should just get the proper professionals to handle this issue instead of allowing the ordinary fisherman to battle it out on their own.
 
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #7 on: 03/02/2009 17:33:55 »
SETF - I agree.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #8 on: 04/02/2009 08:02:05 »
SETF - I agree.

I second that. Motion carried.
 

Offline Don_1

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #9 on: 04/02/2009 14:41:24 »
SETF - I agree.

Agreed.

These fish are described as 'dangerous'; dangerous to whom? Other fish recognise them as being venomous (their colouration deliberately gives that away), so I presume what is meant is that they are dangerous to man! Since we are only very occasional visitors to their world, it WE who should simply keep out of their way.

By far the greatest danger in the sea is not the Lion Fish, Orca or Great White Shark, it is MAN!
 

Offline SETF

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #10 on: 05/02/2009 05:11:13 »
Anyone knows how they evolved to be this way?
 

Offline Kerebus

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #11 on: 09/02/2009 12:10:09 »
Lionfish are an invasive species and have decimated reefs in the Caribbean, as they are voracious hunters with no natural predators in the Atlantic. They are not thought to have migrated to the Western Atlantic but the initial introduction was probably through aquarium releases off the Florida coast with dispersal of eggs and larvae through Gulf Stream transport. newbielink:http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4766 [nonactive]

There was reference to their effects in the recent BBC programme Oceans ( newbielink:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fvf4d [nonactive])

They are beautiful fish when seen in their natural habitat (I've seen many of them when diving and snorkling in the Red Sea) but they are a serious threat to native ecosystems when introduced.
 

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Are lion fish an invasive species?
« Reply #11 on: 09/02/2009 12:10:09 »

 

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