Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014

A Predator That Moves Quickly And Is Gaining Ground

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lionfish (Pterois antennata) in the Mexican Caribbean

lionfish (Pterois antennata) in the Mexican Caribbean

The problems caused by the presence of Lion Fish in the Mexican Caribbean increasingly becomes more alarming since the last examinations performed by members of the Scientific Research Center of Yucatán (CICY) detected that this species has entered two mangrove zone sites, causing the elimination of other fish from the infant stage, that is, when there are eggs or larvae.

The researcher at the CICY, Adam Caballero Vázquez, has worked since 2010 on issues related to the lion fish and newly detected with other researchers that Isla Contoy mangrove (It is located approximately 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres. The island is only 8.5-Km in length and has a surface area of 317 hectares. Isla Contoy is considered the most important nesting place of sea birds in all of the Mexican Caribbean) and lagoon Chacmuchuch are the new areas of income.

Isla Contoy  Photo: Secretaría de Turismo

Isla Contoy
Photo: Secretaría de Turismo

Laguna Chacmuchuch

Laguna Chacmuchuch

Specialists confirm this is an issue that deserves special attention, since the threat of this fish has meant the disappearance of other species, as it has happened in the Bahamas, where the lion fish has removed almost 80% of the biomass of fish. With this evidence specialists have obtained, better molds and forecasts cab be made about the movement and migration of the fish, because until a year ago was not present at these locations.

A Dangerous Predator

Lion Fish Photo: Google

Lion Fish
Photo: Google

Among the commercial species that offspring in the mangroves, snappers, milkfish, sea bass, tilapia, crabs, shrimps and mollusks con be found amongst others. The biggest difference this dangerous species has as an advantage against any others is that it does not discriminate when feeding, as an example of such, they will eat any type of fish, lobster or larvae.

The Pterois antennata is a specie of venomous marine fish commonly known as “Lion Fish”. The potency of its venom makes them excellent predators and venomous to fishermen and divers. Pterois venom produces negative inotropic and chronotropic effects.

In humans, Pterois venom can cause systemic effects such as extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, breathing difficulties, convulsions, dizziness, redness on the affected area, headache, numbness, paresthesia (pins and needles), heartburn, diarrhea, and sweating. Such stings can cause temporary paralysis of the limbs, heart failure, and even death. Fatalities are common in very young children, the elderly, those with a weak immune system, or those who are allergic to their venom as they may experience anaphylaxis, a serious and often life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Such reactions can be fatal if not treated.

 Controlling the presence of lion fish

Under the title “Awareness and capture techniques against the lion fish” the City of Isla Mujeres, through the Municipal Directorate of Fisheries, headed by Humberto Moguel, organized the workshop that aims to control properly and responsibly, species which by its nature is a serious problem in terms of ecological balance. The event involved the University of the Caribbean, fishing cooperatives and fishermen working together with Marine Parks.

 It aims to involve fishermen into gaining control over the lion fish since according to studies and statistics; its presence in Mexican Caribbean is harmful to the native species in the region.

JJ. Argaez/The Yucatan Times

Sources: Newsroom.

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