Posted by: reefrescue | June 14, 2010

Palm Beach Lionfish sightings on the rise

Recently Lionfish sightings have been on the rise in the waters between the Jupiter and Boca Raton Inlets. Observations by local divers have increased from an occasional sighting to reports of up to five lionfish seen per dive over the last several months.

On Saturday June 12, Reef Rescue divers obtained close up video of a pair of Lionfish occupying an underwater cave, 70 feet below the surface, on Gulf Stream Reef, Boynton Beach. The Lionfish in the video were not intimidated by the divers and the fish appeared to display a defensive/territorial behavior.

Swarms of fry were seen in and around the Lionfish cave, however it is unlikely the fry are Lionfish offspring, since Lionfish are believed to be pelagic spawners dispersing their eggs in the water column. It is more likely the voracious Lionfish view the fry as food.

Lionfish are invasive species and threaten the ecosystems since they have no natural enemies and pry upon native fish.

Lionfish are good to eat. FWC says there is no bag limit for Lionfish, but a saltwater fishing license is required.

Report Lionfish Sightings

Scuba divers and others can help with the NOAA research effort by reporting lionfish sightings to:

Paula Whitfield
NOAA Beaufort Laboratory
101 Pivers Island Rd
Beaufort, NC 28516 -9722

Voice: 252-728-8746
Fax: 252-728-8784
Email: Paula.Whitfield@noaa.gov

Please be prepared to provide coordinates of where the lionfish was found and at what depth. If possible, photographs or video should accompany the above information.

Click here to watch CBS News report: Lionfish Danger

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Responses

  1. Posted this to my Facebook page too. Finally – a fishing expedition I can support:-)


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