The Introduction and Dispersal of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish (Pterois volitans) Along the Atlantic Coast of North America.

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The Introduction and Dispersal of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish (Pterois volitans) Along the Atlantic Coast of North America.

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Title: The Introduction and Dispersal of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish (Pterois volitans) Along the Atlantic Coast of North America.
Author: Whitfield, P; Gardner, T; Vives, SP; Gilligan, MR; Courtney Jr, WR; Ray, GC; Hare, JA
Abstract: Pterois volitansis the first Pacific marine fish to become established in Atlantic waters. For the past 2.5 years, the Indo-Pacific species of lionfish have been collected, photographed and observed from southern Florida to Cape Hatteras, NC and juvenile lionfish have been collected from Long Island, NY and Bermuda. The large scale distribution of this invasive species over such a short time period (2000-2002), along with the presence of juveniles, suggests that lion-fish are reproducing. Along the North Carolina coast both the number and spatial distribution of lionfish have increased. In August 2000, there were 3 lionfish reported in 3 locations. By October 2002,49 lionfish were reported in 15 different locations. Dispersal of lionfish in 2002 appears to be both inshore and offshore of the lionfish locations in 2001. Lionfish have also been sighted in waters deeper than originally anticipated. The initial introduction was probably through aquarium releases off the Florida coast with dispersal of eggs and larvae through Gulf Stream transport. It is unknown what the ecosystem effects of this marine invasive fish will be along the Atlantic coast of the United States. There is cause for concern as they are predators and appear to be permanent residents.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4766
Date: 2003

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