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Trouble with Lionfish

The North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) was excited to explore The Trouble with Lionfish Webinar with the National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series and NOAA.

The lionfish is a carnivorous fish native to the Indo-Pacific, which has venous spines all over its body. However, even though the lionfish’s original habitat is the Indo-Pacific, they have found their way to the Atlantic Ocean. The lionfish invasion had started in the Florida Keys in the mid-1980s, but today the lionfish fish population has exploded.

The invasive species now inhabits all of the Caribbean, the eastern North American, and South American coastlines. But how did the lionfish population even get here? It turns out that the humans are the culprits! When people bought exotic fish, like lionfish, the animals would grow and get too big to keep in tanks. To dispose of the fish, they would just be dropped into the ocean. This introduced lionfish to new environments to thrive in!

One lionfish can eat up to 5000 fish in a single year! But what can we do about it? Get informed about this epidemic, and let people know about it! un NAMEPA thanks the NOAA team and organization for this opportunity to learn about this invasive species and what it means for our ecosystems.

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