This past year I've heard of spotfin butterflies still being collected in
the waters off NJ when the water temp was in the high 40'sF. I'm sure some
fish are able to survive the colder temps especially if the decrease is
gradual. So you're right, it doesn't come as a surprise that the lionfish
is able to adapt to the cooler temps.
Off NC, the Gulf Stream isn't too far off shore. I don't know how far the
200 meter contour is from Cape Hatteras or Cape Lookout, but the water is
still very warm. Many fish could easily adapt to those waters.
I'm not sure if this is as big an issue as the release of non native
freshwater species. I think for the most part the marine hobbyist is a
little more educated than the average freshwater hobbyist, so hopefully they
are less likely to purchase a fish that will out grow the available space.
Also, the marine hobbyist doesn't have as many choices as the freshwater
hobbyist has. Though there are the people who will purchase the leopard and
nurse sharks and wonder what do I do with this fish once it's 3' long. For
every nurse or leopard I see in a LFS, I'll see hundreds if not thousands of
pacu's and arrowanas.
It's too bad there isn't a way to protect the stupid people from themselves
and the rest of us.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Fw: Aquaticinfo: Fw: Lionfish Observed Off North
> Oh well, I can't really say I am surprised. I have known for a long time
> lion fish are a lot more cold tolerant than most people give them credit
> they do occur in temperent water off the southern Australian coast. It was
> just a matter of time before someone decided that their pet lion fish had
> grown their aquarium and decided to turn it loose. we get a lot of
> species off shore and inshore in the summer. There are even reefs off
> in deep water with angels and butterflies the don't release your aquarium
> fish into local waters should apply to marine fish as well as freshwater.
> Personally I have been looking for panther groupers and other marine fish
> likely to out grow their owners for some time. I kinda figured leopard
> might be released as well. they resemble our native smooth dogfish in all
> their coloration and prefer cool water. It would be a lot easier to
> non native marine fish in NC than freshwater because the ocean stays warm
> shore year round but the freshwater gets too cold for a few short weeks.
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