Lionfish Found Behind Breakers - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Lionfish Found Behind Breakers

There has been another lionfish sighting. Wildlife officials across South Florida are on alert becuase of it.

The spines on the invasive fish are poisonous. Those who have been stung say it feels like fire for 20 minutes. Others have been hospitalized, some have died.

"They pretty much eat anything they can swallow, so they can go right through a coral reef and eat all of the tropical fish and really destabilized the ecosystem," said Ed Tichenor of Reef Rescue. 

In the picture the lionfish looks at home, sitting pretty at the bottom of the Breaker's reef. It was caught on camera by a local diver looking for lobsters. Lionfish are native to the Pacific and as a result there are a lack of predators in our area. 

For the past few years, only a handful of lionfish have been spotted near our coast each year. However, the Bahamas has an exploding population. The reason may be the goliath grouper.  They may be the only fish eating the lionfish. There are a lot more of these groupers in our waters than the Bahamas.

Despite its beauty, the presence of lionfish is a sign of trouble and you are asked to call Reef Environment Education Foundation if you spot one.  the number is (305) 852-0030

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