Why are LionFish a problem for Aruba?
1.- Not from Aruba (invasive species)
2.- Local predators don’t eat them
3.- Damage coral reef systems (they eat all smaller creatures)
4.- Bad for traditional fisheries
5.- Bad for tourism
The LionFish are native to the reefs of the Southern Pacific and Indian Oceans. In the Caribbean, LionFish are classified as an invasive species. There are several theories as to how they were first introduced into the waters of Florida where they originally appeared. The most widely accepted theory is that tropical fish lovers purchased the beautiful and colorful LionFish and added them to their salt water aquariums. The voracious LionFish then ate hundreds of dollars of their other tropical fish. The fish loving owner releases the fish to the wild rather than kill it. A couple of those fish met up with each other and reproduced. There it is… introduction of an invasive species.
Know that an adult LionFish can lay up to 15.000 – 30.000 eggs every four days and eats everything smaller then itself. All the smaller reef fish, crustaceans and such that are eaten, no longer clean the reefs from algae or clean other fish from parasites and such. So this is the main reason that LionFish decimate populations of other fish in such a short amount of time. When all the smaller fish are dead, the corals will follow and there will be nothing left too see underwater. So this is why, in the long end, the tourists will also suffer from this problem.