Who Eats the Invaders

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By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News

Newswise — A landmark scientific research involving marine biologists from Greece and Turkey, Cyprus, Libya and Italy has just been published. It documents instances where two highly invasive marine species – the Pacific Red Lionfish and the Silver-cheeked Toadfish – have preyed upon native Mediterranean fish. Co-author of this extensive study is Prof. Alan Deidun. He is the coordinator of the Spot the Alien Fish citizen-science campaign and a resident academic in the Department of Geosciences of the Faculty of Science. The introduction of non-native species of lionfish has had a significant impact on native fish populations in the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Conservation biologists recommend that they be actively removed and even consumed in these areas. This is mainly due to the lack of predators of the same species. The venom from the 18-spine lionfish can cause severe reactions in humans, including swelling and paralysis, as well as cardiovascular and neuromuscular problems. The first record of the Pacific red lionfish in the Mediterranean was made in 1991 in Israeli waters. It has also been recorded in Maltese waters a few times since 2016. Due to the high levels of neurotoxin tetrodotoxin in its tissues, this species is extremely toxic and can cause many human deaths each year. The species also disrupts fishing lines and tears fishing nets, and can cause significant socio-economic damage to fished stocks such as cephalopods (squids, cuttlefishes, octopus), and a variety of native predators for juvenile silver-cheeked fish, including garfish (msell) and dolphinfish (lampuki). The species was also known to be capable of cannibalism. The native predators of the Pacific red lionfish were the dusky grouper, the white grouper (dott-tal-faxxi), and the common octopus. The study also revealed that the two invasive fish species were preyed upon within their native range (i.e. The Indo-Pacific region as well as other invaded areas (e.g. In the Indo-Pacific region) as well as from other invaded regions (e.g. For example, in Cyprus, both silver-cheeked and Pacific red lionfish are being removed by the authorities. They do this through financial ‘bounties and spearfishing competitions called ‘derbies’. ‘###The study has been published in the high-impact Frontiers in Marine Science journal and can be accessed freely online: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.670413/full?&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Marine_Science&id=670413

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This article was authored by Daniel Webster using Artificial Intelligence. To learn more visit https://wordai.com/?ref=0b4438
The original article can be found at Read More

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