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Lionfish expedition: Down deep is where the big, scary ones live


Stashed in: Ecology!, Shark Tank, Fishies!, Under the sea!, @tomhanks

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Eradication appears impossible, and they threaten everything from coral reef ecosystems to local economies that are based on fishing and tourism.

Whatever is keeping them in check in the Pacific -- and researchers around the world are trying to find out what that is -- is missing here. In the Caribbean, they are found at different depths, in various terrain, are largely ignored by other local predators and parasites, and are rapidly eating their way through entire ecosystems. They will attack many other species and appear to eat constantly.

And, unfortunately, the big fish just discovered at greater depths pose that much more of a predatory threat, not to mention appetite.

"A lionfish will eat almost any fish smaller than it is," Green said. "Regarding the large fish we observed in the submersible dives, a real concern is that they could migrate to shallower depths as well and eat many of the fish there. And the control measures we're using at shallower depths -- catch them and let people eat them -- are not as practical at great depth."

"When attacking another fish, a lionfish uses its large, fan-like fins to herd smaller fish into a corner and then swallow them in a rapid strike. Because of their natural defense mechanisms they are afraid of almost no other marine life, and will consume dozens of species of the tropical fish and invertebrates that typically congregate in coral reefs and other areas. The venom released by their sharp spines can cause extremely painful stings to humans."

Float like a lionfish, sting like a lionfish.

Lionfish is an ecological disaster.

Luckily they are tasty to humans.

We must devour them! For the good of the planet!!

Time to start the Bubba Gump Lionfish Company?

Yes it is, Adam, yes it is.

Lionfish scampi, Lionfish cocktail, Lionfish étouffée... Oh, I get the reference!

Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

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