"Stinging Lionfish Are Invading The Mediterranean"

"The long-finned, tiger-striped lionfish may be one of the most stunning swimmers in the sea — but it’s also becoming one of the most problematic. Originally a native of the Indo-Pacific ocean region, this predatory tropical fish has already invaded the southern Atlantic coast of the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, sparking concerns about its potential impact on local ecosystems. And now, scientists believe it’s moving in on the Mediterranean as well.

In a new paper, published this week in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records, researchers describe what may be the beginning of a lionfish invasion off the coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. The paper includes 24 reports of lionfish in the area from divers or fishers, each documented with a photograph, between 2014 and 2015.

Some of these have been sighted clustered together in small groups, which the usually solitary lionfish only does to mate. This behavior has experts worried that the fish are reproducing and spreading. "

Chelsea Harvey reports for the Washington Post June 29, 2016.

Source: Wash Post, 06/30/2016