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Anyone caught an American Lionfish?
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.04(Fri)17:05    Post subject: Anyone caught an American Lionfish? Reply with quote

I have been researching the internet about the growing population of Pterois Volitans Lionfish now inhabiting the East coast from Florida up to Long Island, NY. The largest one caught so far was 17 inches, caught on hook and line in NC, research divers are also bringing up juveniles as small as 2 inches. They are mostly in deeper waters but just curious, has anyone been able to capture one of these American Lions?
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Fishkeeper55
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Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Location: Chesapeake, Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.04.12(Tue)16:04    Post subject: Re: Anyone caught an American Lionfish? Reply with quote

FloridaBoy wrote:
I have been researching the internet about the growing population of Pterois Volitans Lionfish now inhabiting the East coast from Florida up to Long Island, NY. The largest one caught so far was 17 inches, caught on hook and line in NC, research divers are also bringing up juveniles as small as 2 inches. They are mostly in deeper waters but just curious, has anyone been able to capture one of these American Lions?


I didn't realize that they were that close! WoW!
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: 2005.04.12(Tue)19:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep... yet another reason for eco-conscious groups to hate the hobby.
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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Roswell, GA

PostPosted: 2005.04.13(Wed)8:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kdodds,

help me out, the lion fish are here because hobbyists released them into the wild?
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KDodds
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PostPosted: 2005.04.13(Wed)22:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all likelihood, they were either released by hobbyists individually or released accidentally in a larger quantity as a result of the hobby trade. It's VERY doubtful they hitched a ride on the bottom of a cruise ship, and even more unlikely that they swam there, going around either the African or South American Capes, and impossible for them to have made the journey over land, at least not unless they were in bags. Wink
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TheVillageIdiot
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PostPosted: 2005.04.14(Thu)7:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmmmm, I wonder who they're out competiting in their new environment... maybe I'll be reamed for saying it, but I wouldn't be suprised if a bunch of peta folk released them into the wild w/out thinking about the consequences... wouldn't be the first time...
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KDodds
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PostPosted: 2005.04.14(Thu)7:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the problem with foreign species introduction, there's no real way to predict the long term effects on existing species/populations. For instance, it might be that these lions take a liking to eating cleaner organisms in the Carribbean. Think of the devastation that could possibly cause. And, no, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it could be tracked back to an organization like, or even affiliated with, PETA. But it wouldn't surprise me the other way either.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2005.04.14(Thu)17:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing's for sure, P. Volitans is here to stay.
Just a matter of time before I see one of these guys in 30 feet of water off Key Largo or West Palm. Last ones we saw in the wild were in Palau.
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KDodds
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PostPosted: 2005.04.14(Thu)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's fortunate for you you got to see them in Palau, unfortunate for our reefs that we're seeing them here. I DOUBT they'll cause any major problems within the eco-system, but you never know. What I can't figure is why we're not tougher, like Australia. If they found a colony of Royal Grammas on the Barrier Reef, it would probably be open season on Grammas. Lionfish are SO unmistakable and SO slow, it's a real wonder they can't or haven't eradicated them. Then again, there's always the issue of re-introduction.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2005.04.15(Fri)14:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually NOAA is killing lots of them, they are spearing them and stacking them up like cordwood. If you love the majestic lionfish, it's pretty sad IMO. Some of these .gov websites are characterising P. volitans as "agressive" and "dangerous to humans." I have encountered these numerous times while diving, they are beautiful and peaceful. YES I regret they are here, YES kDodds is correct, they are "invasive" and YES they may pose a problem but even NOAA admits they are here to stay, so I say divers enjoy the dang view and let 'em live. Sorry folks I love P. volitans. And I have gutted/skinned/fried/grilled plenty fish in my day, so please don't confuse me with PETA.
(I did have a pita once, it was loaded with chicken).
Here's the link:
http://shrimp.ccfhrb.noaa.gov/lionfish/mission.html
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