Monday, January 09, 2006

since i am a marine biologist...


I can't have all my posts be about football and such... heres some interesting news, maybe not so new news, but all important regardless...



taken from http://www.wetpixel.com/

Invasive Lionfish in Florida ...

Scientists discover evidence for reproduction in Florida waters

During the past few years, a number of exotic marine fishes have been seen and photographed by divers off the Florida coast. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is one of the most abundant, and now appears to be established and reproducing off the Florida coast. Since the lionfish is a top predator, it may negatively influence the structure of fish communities in Florida reefs.

The conclusion comes from a recent scientific article published by a team of marine biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission and NOAA led by Dr. Ramon Ruiz-Carus.


This is particularly distressing. Introduced exotics have long been a problem plaguing america, sometimes introduced accidentally, sometimes on purpose... and it has recently become a problem with larger super tankers and ballast water. But this specific case is a real disappointment, and I know there are more out there for this same reason. The most likely casue of this introuduction is the pet aquarium fish trade. I hate this because there are so many of us responsible aquarists that get the bad wrap here. Many aquarists are educated, and to an extent environmental and want to bring a piece of nature into their homes... (you may disagree with the environmental part, but many of the fish now in the trade are captive reared/ raised and there are many aquaculture outlets working with marine ornamentals as well) It is terrible that a few people, who either can't handle it because they didn't do enough research or it costs too much money, will release their fish rather than try to find suitable other homes. And then things like this happens, where the realeased populations begin to create problems... I know its happened around the country and I cannot say exact species or locations without further research, I just know I have read about them somewhere. Feel free to give me your opinions...

2 comments:

Tait said...

bah...FL waters are fucked.....I mean there doesn't seem to be a square inch of FL land or coast that doesn't have ten different invasive species taking over....everything from Iguanas to now Lion Fish....I say we just introduce as many predators as we can and then have a "Animal Fights" reality TV show...

john said...

i agree, many parts of this country aree fucked with introduced species, even long island, san fransisco bay... however, many of the introduced aquatic species in florida are the result of poor aquarist tactics, who release their fish when they get too big or the people realize they cant keep them... it gives people like me a bum wrap, and gets green groups all over the aquarium trade, raising the prices of fish and making them harder to get... there are numerous state laws prohibiting certain fish species from being sold... i just dont want it to get to be all fish species...