‘I’ve seen 40 on one dive’: invasive lionfish threatens ecosystems in Med

‘I’ve seen 40 on one dive’: invasive lionfish threatens ecosystems in Med

A removal project aims to reduce numbers of the unwelcome arrival that has quickly become prevalent

Non-native lionfish have become increasingly common in parts of the Mediterranean in recent years, threatening local ecosystems and posing a hazard to humans through their venomous spines.

Marine biologist Prof Jason Hall-Spencer first saw a lionfish off the coast of Cyprus in 2016. It was just an individual, but the species – which produce about 2 million eggs each year and lack natural predators in their new environment – have quickly become prevalent. “In some places, I’ve seen 40 on one dive,” said Hall-Spencer, from the University of Plymouth.

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