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.
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:
Reef Environmental Education Foundation
U.S. Geological Survey
Waldo, Mask & Snorkel