By: Emma Park
Lionfish haven’t always inhabited the Caribbean. They exist naturally in the Indian and Pacific oceans, but in recent years have caused damage to the ecosystems of the Atlantic. One theory states that lionfish were introduced to the Atlantic in 1992, when a hurricane in Florida flooded an aquarium, releasing just six of these fish into the wild. Since then, lionfish have multiplied rapidly in their new environment. The Atlantic ecosystems are unable to control this unfamiliar species, allowing the lionfish to become a successful—and very harmful—invasive species.
Over winter break, I spent 9 days in the Caribbean working with Hello Ocean, a non-profit organization that engages audiences in ocean conservation efforts through media. While I was there, the team was producing a video on lionfish mitigation efforts in St. Barthélemy, where lionfish appeared around 2010.Read More