Lion Fish Essay

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Lion Fish Invasion Environmental Pollution Leah Arango - 3623373 Fall 2013 
 Unique, vibrant, elegant, and beautiful, but we should not be admiring the lion fish in the Atlantic Ocean. The red lion fish (scientific name: pterois volitans) belong to South Pacific's coral reefs. This creature is a popular saltwater aquarium fish distinctive for its white and brown lines, the array of tentacles that come out all around its face, and a huge line of spiky venomous spines. The lion fish originally belongs to warm water in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. These lion fish prey on all different types of animals, such as: crabs, shrimp and smaller fish; and have very little amount predators giving them the place in the higher levels of the food chain. Since it is so high in the food chain and preys on almost anything, it has managed to survive in the Atlantic Ocean perfectly. In the Atlantic, lion fish are defined as invasive species, which means, "a non-native organism that has intruded into an area and may have serious detrimental effects on native organisms, the local economy, and human health". sadly many accidents have led to the invasion where the lion fish has spread all across the Caribbean Sea and up North in places like Rhode Island. It is hypothesized that the origin of the whole problem came from only six lion fish that were accidentally released from an aquarium to the Atlantic Ocean in 1992 during hurricane Andrew. A lot of genetic research supports the hypothesis, however, there has probably also been a lot of retired aquarium enthusiasts that have released the lion fish to open waters. And with two million eggs produced from a single female each year and almost no natural enemies, they have managed to spread very fast. In 2007, Paula Whitfield and her team have conducted many surveys and found that lion fish were already as abundant as many native groupers,

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