Saw this guy passing through the reef last weekend. I shot some video of him too that you can see on the Beauty of Florida Facebook page.
Invasive species are species that are not native to the enviroment or ecosystem they are living in. They can be plants, animals, insects, fish, or even new creatures created from non-native species mating with the native species.
The Lionfish pictured here may look exotic and beautiful and it is, but it’s actually a huge threat to the oceans of Florida and the Caribbean since it’s actually a native to the South Pacific. Their spines are venomous so they don’t have many predators and they compete for food with native fish.
There are often “Lionfish Derby’s” or other types of organized hunts to help control the invasive population and tp spread awareness to the public. There are even pet amnesty days where owners can surrender their pets without question or punishment. This helps cut down on people letting their Burmese python or pet piranhas “free”. There’s even a cookbook dedicated to nothing but Lionfish dishes. No matter where you live, you likely have invasive species problems, educate yourself about them and report them when you see them.
I’ve found there’s just as much beauty below the sea as there is above it.