Invasive Lionfish Attacks Reefs and Fish as Scientists Scramble

Indo-Pacific lionfish, an invasive carnivore equipped with venomous spines, are spreading—and eating their way—through the fishes of the Caribbean Sea. In an effort to stop, or at least slow down, these fearless invaders, the National Science Foundation has awarded a 3-year, $700,000 grant to scientists at Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis. The lionfish are normally found in Pacific Ocean waters. But since the 1990s, they’ve been spotted from Florida to Rhode Island, and as far south as Colombia, and are now wreaking havoc among the fishes of Caribbean coral reefs—adding yet another woe to those already facing the reefs.

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