Posted by: stiltsville | August 10, 2010

Lionfish in Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico Lionfish

Gulf of Mexico Lionfish

Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute collected two juvenile red lionfish (Pterois volitans) last month from the Gulf of Mexico. With the exception of a probable aquarium release from the Tampa Bay area, the discovery of these lionfish marks the first time this nonnative species has been documented in Gulf waters north of the Tortugas and the Yucatan Peninsula.

FWC researchers found the lionfish in the catch from two separate net tows taken at distances of 99 and 160 miles off the southwest coast of Florida, north of the Dry Tortugas and west of Cape Romano. The specimens were taken from depths of 183 and 240 feet as part of a trawl survey funded by the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program, a cooperative state and federal program.

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