Lionfish Invasion: Potential Lionfish Disaster in Bermuda, Atlantic Ocean

Lionfish invasion
An Antennata Lionfish is shown in this file photo. |

A Lionfish invasion is causing concern in the waters around Bermuda, with experts highlighting this week that potential devastation could take place through a Lionfish infestation in the Atlantic Ocean.

Lionfish of course are not native to the Atlantic Ocean, but are known for being venomous, fast reproducing, and likely to eat anything put in front of them.

However, with no known predators in the region, they are reproducing so fast that there are concerns for the local environment being unable to maintain itself with them around.

According to CNN the Lionfish can wipe out about 90 percent of a reef. Graham Maddocks, who is president and the founder of Ocean Support Foundation, which works with the government and research agencies in efforts to reduce the Lionfish population in Bermuda, has said, "The lionfish invasion is probably the worst environmental disaster the Atlantic will ever face."

Ecologist James Morris, who works with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, has admitted that the Lionfish issue does have the potential for disaster, saying that they have brought about a "big change in biodiversity."

He said Lionfish are "the most abundant top-level predator on some coral reefs (in the Atlantic)," according to CNN.

Lionfish can produce as many as 40,000 eggs every few days and are a non-indigenous species.

Various reports have claimed that Florida pet owners released them into the Atlantic Ocean and are to blame for the infestation, with as few as 6 to 8 female Lionfish believed to be the source of the now widespread problem.

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