Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Lionfish Roars!

News that Cyprus is starting a Lionfish cull in an attempt to prevent this invasive fish decimating the Mediterranean ecosystem (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/29/cyprus-begins-lionfish-cull-to-tackle-threat-to-mediterranean-ecosystem). This fish not only eats everything but is protected from predators by its poisonous spines (making it a problem, also, for tourism). There are various debates about how the fish's spread has been facilitated. They include a warming of the seas in their newly-invaded habitats but also include guesses that over-sized aquarium fish might have been released or that changes to the Suez canal to enable passage by bigger ships (without biosecurity measures) could be a key factor. One must note, however, that the larvae of many invasive marine species are transported in the ballast tanks of shipping.

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