Lionfish invade Bahama reefs, gobble up everything.

Poisonous, but much worse: gluttonous.

(Excerpt from Abaco Life magazine)

It may be lovely to look at, but the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) that has come to live in Abaco waters recently is a devastating invader of the Western Atlantic Ocean. They pose such a threat to the fisheries and marine life of their new habitat, that one scientist warns they “could very well become the most disastrous marine invasion in history.”

All feathery fins and camouflaging stripes, the foot-long lionfish is a voracious and efficient predator. In its native domain, the coral reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, it attacks at night, patiently singling out a small fish or shrimp, then sucking down its prey in an instant. As defense, the lionfish injects venom into any intruder, human or otherwise, that comes into contact with the quills on its fins, located 360 degrees around its body. For humans, the typical effect is serious but temporary and non-life-threatening pain, but the more serious, long-term ramifications of the lionfish in its Atlantic habitat are becoming painfully evident.

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