Lionfish Control in South Florida - Naomi Blinick

Lionfish are invasive species in the western Atlantic ocean. Native to the tropical Pacific, these voracious hunters have no natural predators in the Atlantic. Consequently, they are able to consume an inordinate number of native reef fish and outcompete native fish for food, thus having a devastating effect on local habitats. They were first spotted in Atlantic waters off of Biscayne Bay in 1992 (thought to have escaped from an aquaria tanks that were broken in Hurricane Andrew), then spread north and eventually throughout the western Atlantic, from Massachusetts to Venezuela. In the National Parks along the eastern seaboard of the United States, visitors are requested to report any sightings to park officials so that they can be removed before they cause any more harm. These images are from Dry Tortugas and Biscayne National Parks in south Florida, documenting lionfish removal by NPS divers to minimize the damage to local reef ecosystems by these invasive species.

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