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Lionfish Research Paper

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A venomous marine fish, known as the Lionfish, is native to tropical regions in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew tore through South Florida and was labeled the most destructive hurricane in the history of the United States. The category five storm is thought to have caused the accidental introduction of the species into FLorida. An aquarium was devastated by the winds, and released several Lionfish into Biscayne Bay. That, along with owners who became dissatisfied with the animals after realizing they’d eat other fish, and ignorantly set them free in the Atlantic, allowed the organisms to populate the waters very quickly.
The Lionfish is considered “one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet”; there were no enemies within the Atlantic as none of the fish in this area had seen a Lionfish before. They wouldn’t realize that the Lionfish was in fact a cold predator, with extremely effective venomous spines, and had no enemies to limit its own population growth. They reproduce year round and fifty thousand eggs are released on a three day interval from mature females. The warm Gulf Stream aided their cause, as it’s water carried their eggs and larvae North, and
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To fully understand what is happening to the environment as a result of their introduction, scientists must continue to conduct more research. A monitoring program to check on the growth of the population of these fish is necessary. Hunting, trapping, and even eating the harmful marine animals are all probable resolutions. Since the only enemies they could have are overfished (i.e. the grouper), hunting the Lionfish could have a positive impact. Also they are entirely edible, have lower than average iron and metal levels compared to other fish, and are full of heart-healthy omega-3s, so they could become a new family
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