"Your modesty will shame those with lesser knowledge.."
----- Original Message -----
From: Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park <dallasaq_at_airmail.net>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 11:48 AM
Subject: Aquaticinfo: Fw: Lionfish Observed Off North Carolina
> Now this is very interesting!!
> Frank C. Elia
> Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Constituent Releases <Constituent.Releases_at_noaa.gov>
> To: dallasaq_at_airmail.net <dallasaq at airmail.net>
> Date: Thursday, January 10, 2002 1:20 PM
> Subject: Lionfish Observed Off North Carolina
> >Constituent Contact: Robert Hansen, Robert.C.Hansen_at_noaa.gov
> >LIONFISH OBSERVED OFF NORTH CAROLINA
> >Divers and fishers alert: Non-native Lionfish are beautiful but have
> >venomous spines
> >Research efforts have begun by the Department of Commerce's National
> >Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to determine the number and
> >range of a venomous Pacific Ocean fish that was recently discovered in
> >waters off the southern Atlantic coast.
> >Research divers from NOAA's Laboratory in Beaufort, N.C., have observed
> >Indo-Pacific species of lionfish near two shipwrecks off the coast of
> >Carolina. Local divers were the first to spot the species and have
> >observed lionfish at additional sites. Officials are concerned because
> >lionfish is not a native species to the southeastern United States, and
> >venomous spines are dangerous to humans and other fish.
> >One lionfish was collected by a recreational scuba diver, and scientists
> >the Beaufort Laboratory sent the specimen to a lionfish expert for
> >identification. The species is Pterois volitans, a popular salt water
> >aquarium fish. The number of observations and distance between sightings
> >suggest that more lionfish may be found off the coast and that lionfish
> >have been able to survive the winter water temperatures.
> >"Now that scientists have positively identified the species, we need to
> >determine the distribution of lionfish along the southeastern United
> >States," said Bill Hogarth, director of the National Marine Fisheries
> >Service (NOAA Fisheries).
> >"We are also concerned that scuba divers and fishers may encounter this
> >species in North Carolina or elsewhere along the southeast coast, and we
> >want to get the word out about their venomous spines," said Margaret
> >Davidson, director of NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOAA Ocean Service).
> >The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines of the lionfish are venomous.
> >NOAA Fisheries and NOAA Ocean Service are developing and implementing a
> >plan for the research that is needed in order to define the distribution
> >lionfish along the southeastern coast of the United States and to
> >if they are reproducing.
> >Beaufort Laboratory scientists will conduct the research utilizing
> >types of studies to determine the extent, range, and population of fish
> >species. Research will focus on age and growth of the species along with
> >their food habits. Field studies are conducted to document changes in
> >species composition and abundance. Divers will also be utilized as
> >necessary to assess current fish communities as part of their regular
> >surveys. Once this information is gathered, officials will be able to
> >ascertain what steps, if any, may be necessary to halt the spread of this
> >Scuba divers can help with the NOAA research effort by reporting lionfish
> >sightings to Dr. Donald Hoss, Director, NOAA Beaufort Laboratory; 101
> >Pivers Island Rd. Beaufort, NC 28516-9722; phone: (252) 728-8746; fax:
> >(252) 728-8784; email: don.hoss_at_noaa.gov. Please be prepared to provide
> >coordinates of where the lionfish was found and at what depth. If
> >a photograph should accompany the above information.
> >A fact sheet containing a photo of a lionfish is available on the
> >at: http://shrimp.bea.nmfs.gov/research/lionfish_factsheet.pdf.
> >- 30 -
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