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Bubbles Up Jacksonville Message Board › LionFish off Jacksonville

LionFish off Jacksonville

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user 6836599
Group Organizer
Gainesville, FL
Post #: 38
I will putting together a post-dive briefing for the Lobster Dive but felt this very important information to share with everyone. As divers we share a great concern for the conservation of our reef systems as well as the marine life that inhabits them. Following the excellent turn out at the TISIRI event, where we learned about proposed new reef systems in our immediate diving area, we need to ensure their survival.

Jeremy, Wit, Michael and I were greeted with quite a few lionfish when we did our dives off Jacksonville this Saturday. While the guys worked very hard to get those that they could, with limited bottom time due to the depths and other activities (lobster) calling, along with the sheer magnitude, there were still quite a few remaining as we surfaced.

This morning, as I opened my email, I was greeted by this message from REEF and felt I needed to share it with you as we do not want this problem to continue and need to be aware. In the coming months, we will start some lionfish hunts, as well as Michael (once all in place) will start offering a LionFish Eradication specialty certification, and will have some educational workshops, so that we all can find a way to assist with this problem.


By Lad Akins, REEF Director of Special Projects

There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems. REEF Director of Special Projects, Lad Akins, is a co-author on a recently published paper evaluating these effects. The study was published in the scientific journal, PLoS ONE. Lead author, Stephanie Green, from Simon Fraser University (SFU), along with Akins and other co-authors Aleks Maljković (SFU) and Isabelle Côté (SFU), documented a dramatic 65% decline in 42 species of reef fish eaten by lionfish over a two year period. The study, conducted off New Providence Island in the Bahamas, used data collected during REEF's volunteer lionfish projects to track the explosion of the lionfish population over time, and reveals that lionfish biomass increased from 23% to nearly 40% of the predator biomass on the study sites between 2008 and 2010. This study represents the first documented direct impact of lionfish predation on native reef fishes and highlights the importance of control programs to minimize impacts. You can find a link to this and all published papers that have included REEF data on our Publications page.

REEF data showing increase of lionfish in New Providence, Bahamas, between 2004 and 2010.
user 6836599
Group Organizer
Gainesville, FL
Post #: 40
This will show you a few of them, but they were all over the wrecks, hiding under the ledges, we missed quite a few:


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