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Lionfish have invaded the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and Gulf of Mexico – the INVASION ZONE. Populations are exploding and the invasion could become disastrous for coral reef ecosystems. An obvious question is why aren’t lionfish a problem in the Pacific? Surprisingly, not much is known about lionfish ecology in the Pacific. Some scientists speculate that large groupers might eat them and that other predators consume lionfish eggs, but nobody really knows for sure.

What we do know is that in the INVASION ZONE, few natural predators exist – except for humans!

Management strategies adopted by NOAA and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are about trying to control populations of lionfish through programs that encourage CATCH and EAT! Lionfish are really tasty and easy to catch – just watch out for those venomous spines!

Lionfish Invasion!

Want to learn more? Visit the sites below

NOAA Lionfish Website: This is the depository for NOAA research products on lionfish.

USGS Lionfish Website: Good summary with updated distribution maps.

REEF Lionfish Research Program: Leading environmental group addressing lionfish invasion.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Local information about lionfish.