Zebra Mussels in the Great Lakes and invasive Snakehead fish showing up in greater and greater locations in the US South East. There’s no shortage of news stories concerning invasive species in the US and its territories. And sadly, St John is not immune to this type of threat.
Enter the Indo-Pacific Lionfish
Originally from the Indo-Pacific Ocean and Red Sea; the Lionfish is believed to have been released by aquarists in the mid to late 80’s. Sightings along the South Florida Coast have become increasingly common. And the threat is spreading at an ever alarming rate! The Lionfish has no known predators and is able to produce 30,000 eggs in a single spawning! The result has been an explosion of the population and threatened territories.
Yes they are beautiful
The Lionfish is a dramatic fish with long striped spines and striped membranes like a bristle of flags. But as beautiful as the fish may be it does incredible damage to marine ecosystems by eating juvenile reef fish which form the foundation of every healthy reef. In fact, in some parts of the Bahamas the only fish reported on some reefs are Lionfish!
So what can you do?
CORE Foundation has been educating the public about the Caribbean Lionfish threat and organizing volunteers, teaming with local dive operations and collection dives to protect St John’s coral reefs.
SPOT ONE – REPORT IT. For more information about CORE or to report a lionfish sighting, call (340) 514-4625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.