Saturday, October 20, 2007

Invasive Lionfish Found off Georgia Coast

Venemous Fish Found on the First Coast

GRAYS REEF, GA -- A deadly fish has been discovered for the first time in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary, located in the Atlantic Ocean, twenty miles off the Georgia coast.

The lionfish were spotted between 60 and 70 feet below the surface, making it one of the shallowest confirmed adult lionfish sightings.

Red lionfish have maroon and white zebra stripes and a plume of feathery spines.

Lionfish stings can be excruciatingly painful.
A person punctured by the sharp spines will immediately feel a strong pain. Rapid swelling of the affected body area develops along with the possibility of making movement of limbs very difficult. Lion-fish stings can cause nausea, breathing difficulties, paralysis, convulsions and collapse. Even death may occur in some instances.

Lionfish stings are also a new marine-related injury not previously encountered by area physicians, hospitals, or first responders.

Divers visiting the Gray’s Reef sanctuary are urged to exercise caution around lionfish. Sanctuary officials are asking divers to report sightings of lionfish to Gray’s Reef sanctuary staff at 912-598-2345.

This is certainly odd to me, mostly because lionfish have been found in Florida reefs and for the past few years in Shinnecock Bay of Long Island, where I work, around rockpiles holding up the old bridge and near the jetties at the inlet. I find it hard to believe that they surpassed Georgia and were found in NY first, although maybe they haven't received enough attention up in NY. I have touched upon this last year. Its crazy. Also, the lionfish here in NY are found in shallow water, 30 feet or less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lionfish in the bahamas have been found at a range of depths but i have seen them in water 5 ft deep.