Lionfish are increasing their abundance and are reproducing in the Mediterranean which is alarming
We are proud to announce that our manuscript titled ‘A lionfish (Pterois miles) invasion has began in the Mediterranean Sea‘ has finally got published in Marine Biodiversity Records. It can be accesed here. The article shows evidence that the lionfish have colonised the entire south coastal Cyprus within a year with >20 new records. Considering the lionfish reproductive rates and all other adaptations such as efficient ambush predator of naive prey, venomous spines which deter predation, ecosystem versatility and others, it won’t be long until the lionfish impacts are felt in the Mediterranean.
More recent evidence collected by citizen scientists following the article, shows that the lionfish are increasing their numbers with >10 lionfish observed in single dives and juvenile lionfish reported for the first time. This information should alert managers and stakeholders which should take coordinated action to survey and remove the lionfish before it is too late. MER is trying to get a research fund to combat the lionfish using cost-efficient practices applied in the western Atlantic.
Juvenile lionfish ~1 inch long photographed by Royce Hatch in Protaras area; undisputed evidence that the lionfish are reproducing in the Mediterranean.