Lionfish were first spotted in Bermuda waters in 2000. They were probably released into the Atlantic ocean, perhaps from Florida, as an unwanted aquarium pet and have spread rapidly since. These fish might look cool but they are voracious predators and are causing havoc on Bermuda’s reefs, eating species which are commercially and ecologically important. They are also fast breeders with no natural predators in this area. If you see one, beware – their spines can give a very painful, venomous sting.
As part of efforts by the Bermuda Lionfish Taskforce to get rid of them, local fishermen starting setting traps in June of 2016 (marked by flagged buoys). Alongside volunteer efforts to cull the species, it’s hoped that this will slow the spread of the these fish. Locals and tourist can help by reporting sightings of lionfish here. You can also choose to eat Lionfish rather than local species, some of which are overfished. Once the spines are removed, they are very tasty as well as being high in Omega 3 and low in heavy metals. So Save the Reef – Eat a Lionfish.
Photo: Albert Kok at Dutch Wikipedia(Original text: Albert Kok) – Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons.(Original text: Red Sea), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1855900