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Lionfish predators in the Caribbean

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by Stoo, Mar 20, 2019.

Have you ever seen a grouper/snapper/shark/eel take a lionfish that had not been speared?

Poll closed Apr 3, 2019.
  1. Yes I have

    6 vote(s)
    12.2%
  2. No, never

    43 vote(s)
    87.8%
  1. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
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    Nursesharks sometimes suck the, into their mouths from the bottom which pushes the spines out so they don’t sting them, but there is another school of though that they either just don’t give a sh!t. or they deal with the pain because they taste so good.

    Sharks allegedly don’t feel much other than a stab in the eyes or a kick in the gills...
     
  2. BRT

    BRT Giant Squid

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    I have seen two lionfish years ago that were missing their tails. It appeared that they had been bitten off.
     
  3. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location:
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    Many people read a problem and try to put just one finger pointing to a solution/cause since it's easiest to understand in their mind. It takes time to educate and teach them that this problem is not that simple. In over 10 years animal predators haven't wiped out the lionfish and won't in the future. It will take humans, the new purse traps, and even the developing and promising robots to get ahead of the reproduction rate. The most promising news we have so far is not a single lionfish in Florida has been found to be older than 3 years old. Now we have a defined window. Last year's catch data was jaw dropping on effectiveness and reducing reproduction. Educate your friend, it's not one solution/cause.
     
    Ana and Stoo like this.
  4. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
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    Have seen two videos - the Nassau vs lion and a green moray vs lion (partial vid - mostly hunting w/ pole spear). Moray vid had the eel chase it out into open water but never finish it off - finally gave up and swam off. I have no doubt that there is some predation happening but have more faith in the scuba community keeping most of the shallower reefs clean. Lionfish aren't going away - they will always be deep and resupplying the reefs. Years back, I used to notice when there were dead areas and knew there was likely a lionfish around - all the small fry seemed to be missing. Don't notice that as much. I still collect quite a few on our dives (14 this last trip and a few of large size) but numbers on the frequently dove reefs a certainly down. I'm always happy to get a few home for a nice sandwich. I'm sure there are infrequently dove areas and of course deep spots that are likely loaded and will continue supply the pretty reefs where most like to dive. Finding a big momma/poppa san on the dive doesn't happen frequently but it does happen. I suspect they came up from deeper water. I have yet to see anything take an un-injured one though. Morays do like the little ones though :)
     
    Damselfish and Johnoly like this.
  5. krbailey

    krbailey ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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  6. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
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    I’ve watched spotted morays eat free swimming lionfish AFTER being speared. The eel reacts as if it just ate a ghost pepper, but is relentless in its pursuit. Spicy! I have some nice video of one of these occurrences somewhere. I realize this thread is focused on the natural progression of predator and prey, but from my experience it appears to be more about convenience and accessibility. Unfortunately lionfish typically hide within the reef for protection.
     
  7. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I have not seen any taken naturally. All of the accounts I have heard of have been second hand.
     
  8. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

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    My commercial spearfishing buddies have found them in the guts of Red Grouper and Amberjacks. Of course Red Grouper will eat just about anything. It's a matter of time before they become part of the natural food chain in the new environment.
     
    Stoo likes this.
  9. tarponchik

    tarponchik Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
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    ...if there are any Nassau Groupers left.
     
  10. tarponchik

    tarponchik Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
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    Do we even know what species predate Lionfish in Indo-Pacific, where it came from?
     

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