We’ve had some interesting sightings out on the reef this past month, including a sighting of a large Loggerhead turtle, who when discovered came trundling out of its hidey hole to plod away in a hilariously cumbersome manner. Just today, a 2.5m crocodile was spotted at the bridge to the entrance of the lagoon behind the GVI camp at Pez Maya. The GVI Mexico team have also seen gray nurse sharks and hawksbill turtles along with many lionfish.
The invasion of lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific, into the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea is not only one of the most rapid in marine history but also having extremely detrimental effects to local species and ecosystems. While in their native habitat, lionfish breed seasonally, invasive lionfish in the Atlantic have been documented breeding all-year round. Lionfish are also generalist carnivores that can consume over 70 species of fish, up to half their own body length, including commercially, recreationally, and ecologically important species6. On heavily invaded sites, lionfish consume native fish at unsustainable rates. As such, food competition can also lead to depleting food sources for native carnivores. The data collected on this project is very useful for future planning of local control efforts and will hopefully be used to co-ordinate our future lionfish control efforts which, if implemented well, can control local populations and even generate income for local communities.
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All the best
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