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March 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Lionfish Aren’t the Only Invaders in Florida Waters

from the March, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Two women diving beneath Blue Heron Bridge near Palm Beach, FL, during their Thanksgiving vacation spotted a bright yellow fish about four inches long they had never seen before. Some divers might have just admired it, snapped photos and kept swimming, but Deb Devers and Lureen Ferretti reported it to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), a Key Largo-based nonprofit organization that serves as a regional clearinghouse for control of exotic marine fish species.

Lad Akins, REEF's director of special projects, said their instincts were right on. The fish was a mimic lemon peel surgeonfish, also known as a chocolate surgeonfish, native to the Indo-Pacific and the first of its kind documented in Florida waters. Devers kept track of the fish, and in December, she and Akins captured it alive using hand nets. It was shipped to the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada to be displayed as an educational tool on the hazards of invasive species....


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