Lionfish are awesome. Probably my favourite fish anywhere in the ocean. So beautiful, so dangerous.
As someone that has serious issues with the captivation of wild-caught fish species, I find this article veritably dripping with irony. Particularly after having witnessed a Lionfish in a 2foot by 2foot tank in a loacal pet-store over the weekend. Almost wanted to do greivous things to the proprietors.
It sounds, though, that this "invasion" was not caused by careless disposal, rather the result of a natural disaster destroying somebody's aquarium, causing the fish to make their way to the ocean. Still, there is a lesson to be learned here...
There is a thread on PT about new laws for importing certain animals for pets and reasons for these laws. Many who posted just though that the laws were going too far.
The Lion fish incident was not due to a person intentionally releasing the 6 fish but the release occurred when Hurricane Andrew hit the Florida coast in 1992. There was a pet store that was wiped out and the lion fish made it somehow to the ocean. There is an article on the NOAA website where they did a study on this invasion of Lion fish and they also concluded that all the current lion fish in the Caribbean and Atlantic coast are attributed to these 6 original fish that were released not with intent to set them free but by natural disaster.
This should be a good indicator as to what happens when people willfully release fish in lakes ponds streams rivers and even the ocean thinking that the animal which got too large or was not being taken care of properly does to the environment. The lion fish in the Caribbean has proliferated due to not having any upper predators. No one wants them for Dinner let alone lunch or Sunday Brunch. They breed quicker than rabbits and move to new areas. That is why there has been a large population explosion of an Alien Fish.
Think and remember this story which is true and accurate next time you or a friend wants to take Homer to the local fishing hole for the good of the fish. It is not it is bad for the fish and the environment.
Here is a link to an article done by NOAA about this problem.
There is an old saying that “you will not go broke overestimating peoples stupidity.” Consequences matter, whether intentional of not, does not change reality. We now have a venomous critter in a new part of the world. Dollars to donuts, not one person in the supply chain ever expected or thought that this could or would happen….doesn’t matter it is now apparently the new reality.
We have all heard about the introduction of a fish into Africa, with the best of intentions that wreaked economic and social havoc to a region, or captive game animals jumping fences or fish being released because of flooding.
Remember that most laws are enacted by elected representative who are advised by Staffers and Experts that are trying to address a problem that someone brought up. A lot of the laws seem silly to some but remember where they came from and about consequences.
We live in a society that allows us to have pets. This is nice. In some places your pet may be some ones food item or only means of survival. Killing anything is not or should not be pleasant or thoughtless but it becomes a necessary evil if you live in our kind of society.