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Alex_Mustard

My first Cayman Lionfish

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People have been seeing them since about this time last year, but sightings increasing over the last month. Dept of Environment currently have 4 in aquariums caught during the last month. Including this guy, who we found on sunday morning in Half Moon Bay, Grand Cayman. Colours might be a bit off in the photo as I am sitting in the sun processing this - so can't see my screen!

 

post-713-1232487259.jpg

 

At present they are still rare here - but that is obviously gonna change.

 

Alex

 

p.s. Much cooler was the hammerhead that came to investigate us on the wreck of the Glamis this afternoon.

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Is it considered a good thing or a bad thing that they're showing up over there? I seem to remember them being an introduced species?

 

Obviously they're qite common here in the Pacific, always good to get photos of. Watch out though, a mate got stung by one cleaning an aquarium a few years ago, ended up in hospital!

 

Ryan.

Edited by aussie

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Is it considered a good thing or a bad thing that they're showing up over there? I seem to remember them being an introduced species?....

Very worrying imo

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,403361,00.html

"This may very well become the most devastating marine invasion in history," said Mark Hixon, an Oregon State University marine ecology expert who compared lionfish to a plague of locusts. "There is probably no way to stop the invasion completely."

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/sto...ion05_stop.html

Edited by Balrog

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Hi,

 

Nice photo saw one myself today but in the area they are meant to be.

 

Lionfish were seen and introduced to Florida since 1993, they were always seen around North Carolina by my husband in 1996/1997 and reported on the wrecks by owners before that.. There was an accidental introduction after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

 

http://www.sms.si.edu/IRLSpec/Pterois_volitans.htm

 

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0322/p02s01-usgn.html

 

Now they have reached Cayman, are there any other sightings in the Caribbean?

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I laughed at this bit of the article:

 

A maroon-striped marauder with venomous spikes is rapidly multiplying in the Caribbean's warm waters ... stinging divers and generally wreaking havoc

 

As I said, their stings are bad, but are that many people really getting stuck there that it's newsworthy? Would've thought it was obvious not to get too close!

 

Let's hope it doesn't have a huge impact on the enviornment there though. I've seen how much and how quickly they can eat while doing a night dive on the Coolidge. We have them in decent numbers locally too.

 

Ry.

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What a shame Alex..and it was swimming about in broad daylight as well! Do you recall depth by chance? Have been keeping my eyes open down here on the West /NWPT side this past week, so far nada I'm happy to report, despite as you said, earlier sightings & captures.

I honestly believe the introduction in Florida waters was well before the early 90s. Definitely recall seeing one in my youth off the East coast of Florida while swimming. My father pointed it out at the time, cautioned that it was poisonous, and questioned why it was there..We are talking mid 1960s.

 

Any plans for a Westside visit/dive other than the filmfest next week??

 

Cindy

Edited by Quinn

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Hi guys

 

As Spock would say ...'fascinating Captain'

Keep the theories rolling in.

 

Is it possible this is a manifestation of changing oceanic currents- or is this particular little guy a genuine lost anomaly??

Wouldnt it be interesting to know how he got there- is he alone? If not where's his mom and dad?

It would be very intersting to get a handle on current population statistics.

 

Anyone know Lionfish biology well? What temp of water is optimal for lionfish to thrive in??

 

Nature never ceases to amaze

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Hi Quinn - Aquarium fish get dumped all the time so I'm not surprised you saw one in the 60s. As single individuals though they die without reproducing unlike what's going on now.

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Hi Quinn - Aquarium fish get dumped all the time so I'm not surprised you saw one in the 60s. As single individuals though they die without reproducing unlike what's going on now.

 

I understand that, I just wonder if they have been around longer than those reported in the early nineties, and perhaps just went un noticed, or unreported to the proper agencies. Recent years have certainly given us more recreational divers,fisherman, people that use the waterways, awareness, and underwater photo gear to aid in identifying foreign species. Certainly that is a factor to be considered when trying to establish a time frame .

 

Regardless, sadly the invasion appears to be here, and we are left to cope.

Edited by Quinn

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It's certainly possible though given how fast they reproduce and spread I suspect they wouldn't have gone unnoticed for long.

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Do you recall depth by chance?

 

15m or so.

 

Paul C

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Hi everyone,

We are having the same problem here in the Turks & Caicos Islands. I did two dives last week and I saw three of them.

 

David

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I went out with the DOE one day when they were going to get one out, just about got 3 photos before the spear shot past my head!

 

CAY6116-big.jpg

 

CAY6125-big.jpg

 

CAY6115-big.jpg

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Reading through Undercurrent Reader Reports, sounds like the dive masters in a southern Bahamas area are also taking matters in their own hands with the Groupers and Sharks eating bites afterwards, something about after Lionfish are dead these two fish anyway, eat them...

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Two dive trips this last year- Grand Bahama Bank, and Turks and Caicos- saw them on at least every other dive in both locations. One of the ones we sighted in the T&C had quite a bit of damage like an eel went after it. The solution to the problem is to get a rumor started that soup made from the "fill in body part here" outdoes sharkfin soup for increasing libido- they'll disappear fast if the rumor takes hold.

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We recently had our first confirmed sighting here in St. Croix and we are VERY worried about this invasive species that has no natural predators, but a very voracious appetite. The specimen in our waters was caught about a month ago. We are suspecting that it might have come in with ballast water from a liveabord that visits our waters, but it is of course difficult to prove this. We really do not want Lionfish as it basically eats all small fish off the reef and nothing eats it. Also, I just read a note frm Kay Wilson of Indigo diver center in St. Vincent that they also have had a sighting. I think we need to do something here in the Caribbean quickly to stop infestation of our waters. One idea woudl be for dive operators and other compnies and organizations that have an interest in preserving our reefs, to band together and offer "bounties" on the lionfish. Could be "free airfill for lionfish" or something similar. A program like this could also serve to make communities aware of the very real dangers and potential tangible destruction to the reef (and tourism/fisheries industries in extension) from this invasive species.

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The best way to reduce the population of any fish (as we all unfortunately know all too well) is to introduce the most effective predatory animal ever known ... us.

 

If we could somehow convince folks in the US that "Caribbean Lionfish" is a delicacy, that might help.

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Unfortunately yet another sighting today, my first for these waters.West side reef dive , 40' depth, Juvenile, found by Divetech staff who have already contacted the DOE here on the island.

 

460461643_6GAJJ-M.jpg

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I've immediately forwarded this thread to Al Gore as proof positive of global warming!

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One has been spotted and photographed in Cozumel. It's currently in the Marine Park Office. It's possible this is the first one acknowledged in Cozumel. An email was sent out asking any further sightings be reported to the Marine Park Office.

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One has been spotted and photographed in Cozumel. It's currently in the Marine Park Office. It's possible this is the first one acknowledged in Cozumel. An email was sent out asking any further sightings be reported to the Marine Park Office.

I can't believe I'm reading this...I had just emailed REEF this morning to ask for assistance in preparation of what I knew was inevitable! Now, it appears the Lionfish have made an appearance just across the ditch from us in Coz. If we can just convince the local fisherman that they are great eating, we'll probably never see one but meanwhile I've asked REEF to provide us with the proper info to remove them from the reefs when they appear in the Riviera Maya. I heard from a dive operator in North Carolina that it's easy to get stung if you don't know what you're doing and I am not a big fan of spear guns on the reef.

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I saw two pictures of it, once on the reef, the other captured in a container... I suggest the Cozumel dive shops hand out vouchers, one free cervesa for each Lionfish... :lol:

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With all the sightings in North Carolina by photographers and divers, I have been wondering if people should be 'removing them' one way or another from that and other sites.

Is this the general opinion of others here?

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