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I actually went to Grand Bahama Island to meet and dive with Fred Riger (the originator of the video) last year in order to discuss his findings concerning lionfish and their impacts upon the health of the reefs there. Extremely fascinating perspective. It's his hope that enough dialog will be generated that bonified research institutions (universities and other marine science organizations) will gain interest and conduct thorough studies concerning his hypotheses. It would be interesting indeed to see what the relationship between the removal of mid-level predators and the success of lionfish really is. If his hypothesis is correct, the implications would be huge. If not, then the current efforts at control of this invasive species might be the best we can do, which would be rather disheartening.
Well, things like this commonly happen in nature, and through adaptation and time they sort themselves out. Take the time in the 90s where otherwise healthy lions all over Africa were having seizures and dropping dead. Or take for example the Tazmanian Devils dying today of a mysterious cancer of the face, deforming and eating away at their face and bone structure until they can no longer eat or drink and die from malnurishment. The lionfish will eventually meet its match, somehow, someway. If every time an event like this occured in nature and was not adapted to or eradicated we wouldn't HAVE a nature.
Oh, I agree that there will be a new "balance" (not sure that's a good term, though...most ecosystems are dynamic and any semblance to "balance" is merely temporary). However, as science goes, the burning question is not "what can we do about the lionfish"...that ship has pretty much sailed...but "are WE doing something that is making the lionfish invasion much worse?" I'm not talking about the fact that we introduced the lionfish into the Atlantic. It's more about factors that we may inadvertently be doing that are causing the situation to be much worse. I'm not saying we ARE contributing to the problem, but it would be worth some studies to find out if that's the case.
^ Agreed. Honestly I think that even if lionfish don't belong in the Atlantic that directly contributing to their extermination or lowering of population (which is impossible, seeing as a single lionfish lay tens of thousands of eggs), nature will find a way to eradicate them, but I believe that the Gulf Stream is the real contributor in this situation, keeping the waters warm enough for lionfish to thrive, but I don't believe there's any stopping that.