Most folks are not fully aware of the devastating impact invasive lionfish can have on a reef.
Lionfish are voracious feeders and prolific breeders with no known predators in the Atlantic and Caribbean seas. A female lionfish can releases as many as 30,000 eggs every four days into ocean currents that spread them over vast distances. They have stomachs that can expand up to 30x their normal volume and they been found to consume about 70 species of smaller fish.
When lionfish take over a reef, very few smaller fish are found. These smaller fish are the food source for many other larger fish. Therefore, lionfish are consuming the food source for other marine-life life further up the food-chain. This impacts the survival of other larger fish up the food-chain as well as our fishing industries that rely on these larger fish.
“they’re eating juveniles of the fish that would become commercially available. So, why are people not yet saying, ‘There’s no more grouper. There’s no more snapper’? Well, it might be the juveniles of those species have not reached adulthood—and won’t, because they’re being eaten by lionfish. So if lionfish are eating a lot of juveniles of snapper, grouper, there’s all of a sudden going to be a collapse at the level of species entering the adult phase. That will eventually show up as no more snapper-grouper.”
Read more here at Smithsonianmag.com
These Jamaican Fishermen and Chefs are implementing this solution … See video below
Thus far, the only viable method of controlling lionfish is to is to catch them (they must be caught/speared 1 at a time) and then consume them because they taste great. If we build enough consumer demand, as we have done with other species, it becomes more economical to fish them and thereby control their population growth. .. Lionfish Taste Great ..So Spread the Word