Posted by: reefrescue | December 30, 2010

Lionfish invade Gulf of Mexico

Invasive lionfish sighted around Gulf of Mexico oil rigs.

A native of coral reefs in the Indian and western Pacific oceans, the red lionfish has been an invasive species of concern along the eastern US Atlantic Coast and Caribbean for several years.

This fall, there were also sightings offshore of Louisiana, said Julie Anderson, associate professor with the LSU Agricultural Center and marine fisheries specialist with Louisiana Sea Grant.

Sightings of the fish were made in September and October, primarily around offshore oil rigs.

Prior to this fall, it was thought that the Gulf of Mexico was too muddy for the fish to move west from Florida, she said. Sightings off the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama this fall show that’s probably not the case.

Eventually, Anderson said, there will be outreach to dive shops and to oil rigs operating off Louisiana’s coast that could generate more reports about lionfish sightings.

Sightings of lionfish can be reported to NOAA at reportlionfish@noaa.gov or to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation at www.reef.org/programs/exotic/lionfish.

Read entire article: http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/112444864.html

Reef Rescue is asking divers to help control the destructive lionfish invasion with their “Be part of the solution – kill’em & grill’em campaign”.

Be part of the solution

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