"Attack of the Lionfish: Can They Be Stopped?"

"They are gaudy. They are hungry. And they are invading coral reefs and devouring native fish throughout the Caribbean. They are lionfish, and they are multiplying like crazy."

"Until recently, the battle to save the Carribean's coral reefs from a lionfish explosion seemed hopeless. Lionfish grow quickly and spawn as much as once every three to four days. They are "gape-limited," which means they feast on whatever fits in their mouth, and there is a painful venom in their spikes. At least in the Atlantic, they appear to have no natural predators.

The only way to kill them is to don a scuba suit, jump in the water, and either spear them or catch them with a hand net.

Eradication seems impossible, but a new study published in the journal Ecological Applications finds that you don't have to remove every last lionfish from a reef in order for native fish populations to return -- you just have to remove most of them."

Deborah Netburn reports for the Los Angeles Times January 25, 2014.

Source: LA Times, 01/27/2014