Predatory fish invade the Atlantic ocean
The clear waters around Bermuda are striking in their clarity and saturated vivid colors of ocean flora and fauna. But behind this fascinating beauty there is one very serious problem — the lionfish.
Lionfish are not indigenous to the Atlantic ocean. Evil fast reproducing fish are aggressive eaters and will consume all and everything indiscriminately. Only they can destroy up to 90% coral reefs.
“The lionfish invasion is probably the worst environmental disaster which has ever faced the Atlantic ocean,” says Graham Maddox, President and founder of Ocean Support Foundation, which works closely with government and research agencies in the field of reducing the population of lionfish.
According to the ecologist James Morris, a lionfish brought a “big change in biodiversity”, and that they are “the most common top level predator in the vicinity of coral reefs (in the Atlantic)”.
Lionfish were first recorded decades ago. Since then, their population is growing rapidly. They produce 30 to 40 thousand eggs every few days.
As a non-indigenous species, lionfish are extremely dangerous to the ecosystem because fish in the Atlantic ocean does not have a natural instinct that forces them to shun the reef.
But how did they get there? Ask Florida.
It is the pet owners in Florida, accused that they have released lionfish into the Atlantic. Believe it or not, but DNA analysis showed that all lionfish in the Atlantic occurred only 6-8 females.
Scientists led by Maddox decided to descend into the ocean and shoot lionfish up close. They descended to a depth of 60m, armed with cameras. Video filmed by scientists, is very important because it allows researchers to take a closer look at the behavior of the lionfish. The team has also collected GPS coordinates, information on the number of population and more.
According to scientists, they were unable to descend below the maximum depth. However, they noticed that there, under this limit, lionfish — countless…
“This is an invasion,’ said Morris. — The Atlantic ocean — a large area, but the areas affected by lionfish, too important.”
Maddox agrees: “I don’t know, will we be able to stop them. This is not a battle we can win. The people themselves created this problem — it’s our fault that the lionfish here. Therefore, the responsibility is upon us and I hope we will be able to control them”.