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Episode 301: Alien Invaders

In the waters of the western Atlantic and Caribbean, a voracious alien predator has taken hold. Native to the Indo-Pacific, the invasive lionfish is a major threat to biodiversity and the health of already stressed coral reef ecosystems.

The popular aquarium fish is thought to have first been released into the wild in South Florida in the mid 1980s. With no natural predator in this part of the world, lionfish numbers have increased rapidly. Experts say that on some Bahamian reefs lionfish have reduced native fish populations by up to 90 percent in just a few years.

To combat this problem, experts are encouraging people to “eat’em to beat’em.” Changing Seas joins scientists in the field to learn more about this beautiful, yet gluttonous feeder and the threat it is posing to native fish populations.


Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Image Credits:

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:

Lad Akins
Reef Environmental Education Foundation

U.S. Geological Survey

Special Thanks:


Waldo, Mask & Snorkel

Web Extras

Catching a Lion in the Keys                                                                     
It's Lionfish and Panko Thyme!                                                             
Lionfish hunting a Damsel in Distress                                                  
Tour of the Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute
Filleting a Lionfish                                                          

Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by:

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